A 31-year-old Paignton man has signed up to take on a year of challenges to help Rowcroft Hospice with its urgent fundraising appeal.
Marc Forward, originally from Newton Abbot, has pledged to complete a running race every month this year after hearing the hospice was ‘greatly in need of support.’
Marc explained: “Towards the end of last year, when I discovered that Rowcroft was struggling financially, I didn’t hesitate in wanting to help out.
“Rowcroft has helped a couple of my family members in times of great sorrow; firstly my Auntie Julie, who was diagnosed with cervical cancer in late 2005. Rowcroft welcomed her with open arms and treated her with great dignity and respect, which my Nan has never forgotten.
“Secondly, its out-patient services helped my Dad during his fight with lung cancer, helping to relieve his symptoms enough for him to enjoy time with his friends and family. He passed away in late 2010.”
Marc has already completed a 10k in Hampshire and five mile night race in South Brent. This weekend he is taking part in a fancy dress 10k in Exeter and plans to complete Rowcroft’s own paint-fuelled 5k, The Colour Rush Teignmouth, in June.
Over the full course of the year Marc will have completed one ultra marathon, one marathon, two half marathons, two 5ks, a 10k and two more challenges to be confirmed in November and December.
He said: “I wanted to challenge myself mentally and physically and see if I could sustain such a series of challenges and go the distance. The training helps to reduce stress and anxiety; it also releases a lot of positive energy, which helps on a day-to-day basis.”
Last July, Rowcroft announced it was struggling to maintain current levels of care to local families due to an increase in demand for its services and a shortfall in legacy income.
As a result, to avoid closure, the hospice was forced to make cuts to its services and begin an urgent fundraising appeal to raise an additional £585,000.
Earlier this week it announced it had raised £500,000 of its £585,000 urgent fundraising appeal target.
Finance and Commercial Director, Jon Hill, explained: “We are delighted to be so close to reaching our Urgent Appeal target of £585,000. This is all thanks to the amazing response and incredible support of our local community and people like Marc who understand how vital Rowcroft’s care is for local families facing the most difficult of times.”
Whilst Rowcroft’s Urgent Appeal is raising money for this current financial year, the next beginning 1 April 2017 will also be crucial for the hospice.
Marc originally hoped to raise £1,000 for completing his challenges but two months in has already raised £585.
He explained: “£1,000 seemed like a challenging figure to reach, but I’ve been surprised by people’s generosity, I may have aimed too low…?”
To find out more about how you can help the hospice reach its urgent appeal target, visit www.rowcrofthospice.org.uk/appeal.
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