Challenges raise more than £420,000 for Haven House
PUBLISHED: 13:51 02 January 2019 | UPDATED: 14:41 02 January 2019
Amanda Hall Photography
Running the London Marathon, climbing Ben Nevis, trekking the Himalayas and jumping out of a plane are just some of the ways volunteers and members of the community have managed to raise more than £420,000 in the past year for Haven House Hospice in Woodford Green.
From challenges, community events, donations from local businesses, faith groups, schools and youth groups andclubs, bucket collections and tea parties, the charity that provides end of life care for children and their families has raised £422,262.
This year has been a big one for Haven House, as it celebrated its 15th birthday, and officially opened its newly refurbished hospice back in June.
Events such as the Sparkle Walk – where 200 people walked from Woodford Green to the Cuckfield pub in Wanstead – helped raised money to keep the hospice running.
The walk raised more than £23,000 in its first year. Next year is set to raise even more.
But it is the fearless and devoted nature of volunteers that has raised the most in the past year, with £150,000 collected from people carrying out a number of challenges.
Mel Rinaldi from Leytonstone went the extra mile by climbing the highest mountain in Britain as a way of saying thank you for the hospice supporting her son.
Mel scaled Ben Nevis in August with her best friend Lisa Farrelly. It took them five hours to get to the top and they raised more than £1,000.
Haven House supports Mel’s son, Kristian, who has Lennox-Gastaut syndrome, a rare form of epilepsy where seizures can be non-stop.
She said: “It was an amazing experience. The climb was really tough, and we were both exhausted by the end of the day, but we supported each other and were determined to get to the top.
“It was a proud moment holding our Haven House banner on the summit.
“I’m so glad we had the opportunity to take on this challenge and thank Haven House for all they do in supporting families like mine.”
Another fantastic effort was by all the 16 runners who took part in the London Marathon for Haven House, and raised more than £40,000.
Richard Wilson, completed the gruelling 26-mile course and was raising money for the charity where his daughter has been receiving treatment for a rare type of cancer.
He raised more than £2,200 for Haven House and said: “My daughter Jess is undergoing treatment for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
“Every month she attends Haven House’s Teenage Cancer Group where she gets to meet other young people who are going through the same sort of challenges.”
Volunteers trekked the Himalayas, pedalled to Paris, took on an IronMan and a Cornish Coastal walking challenge.
In the past 12 months a total of 7,063 miles were covered collectively by volunteers – the equivalent of travelling from Haven House to Hawaii.
Another big fundraiser was the Big Tea Par-Tea, and South Woodford wonder woman, Michelle Vanlint raised more than £9,000 with her 13th annual cake sale at her house in Derby Road.
She said: “Baking gives me such joy and knowing that I’m raising funds for Haven House is the ultimate icing on the cake.
“The hospice does such important work for children and families in the local area. A Big Tea Par-Tea is really a fun way to fundraise.
“Each year the Par-Tea seems to get bigger and bigger. It’s wonderful to see so many people enjoying themselves on the day.”
In December the hospice held its annual Bucket-a-thon, and raised more than £11,000 from 21 bucket collections across London.
Pushpinder Gill, Director of income generation and marketing at the hospice said: “Haven House relies on the generous support of our local community; from the many clubs and groups to schools and local businesses, all committed to raising funds to continue the vital work we do for our children and families.
“Thank you so much to all of our dedicated supporters and volunteers – without you we simply couldn’t do what we do.”