Charity, Christchurch, Dorset News, Latest News, Poole | Posted: Wednesday, October 7th, 2020 at 1:46 pm | return to news

Christchurch woman raises £6,000 for Poole hospice charity

Claire Smith, a 45-year-old from Christchurch has used her love for endurance events to raise more than £6,000 for Forest Holme Hospice.

Claire Smith on her Jogle from John O' Groats to Land’s End
Claire Smith on her Jogle from John O' Groats to Land’s End

Claire took on the challenge – a Jogle from John O-Groats in Scotland to Land’s End in Cornwall – in memory of her friend, Susan Northcott, who received end of life care at the hospice earlier this year.

The 875-mile journey took a gruelling 24 days, during which Claire carried all her own food and slept where and when she could.

“Susan was a huge inspiration and support to me from my teens and all throughout my adult life,” said Claire. “She was an amazingly strong lady who loved adventures and sea swimming. She bought me ‘The Clock Keeps Ticking’ by Sharon Gayter – who holds the women’s record for a Jogle and I think she would definitely approve of me doing this. I just hope I made her proud. I wanted to also raise funds for Forest Holme Hospice, who looked after her so well earlier this year.”

Despite admitting to not being a natural athlete, mum-of-two Claire has completed numerous triathlons, deca triathlons – which involves a continuous 24-mile swim, 1,120-mile bike ride and 10 marathons – and various Ironman competitions.

She said, “I didn’t like any sports at school. I’m asthmatic and I was a real rebel, unfit, didn’t like that sort of stuff. I was destructive for a while but endurance sport helped me find a way to channel negative thoughts and also start to look after myself.”

Forest Holme Hospice delivers end of life care and support to more than 1,000 people with advanced cancer and life-limiting illnesses each year. It services Poole, Wimborne and Isle of Purbeck. Like many other charities, it has struggled to fundraise as events have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so Claire’s contribution could not have come at a better time.

Fundraising manager, Paul Tucker, said, “We are all totally in awe of what Claire has achieved and to raise that amount of money is absolutely phenomenal. In terms of fundraising, we have our very own challenge to face over the next 18 months, so to have people like Claire going out and doing incredible things like this to support the hospice is just amazing. She is an absolute inspiration and I know Susan’s family and friends will all be immensely proud.”

If you would like to donate to Claire’s Jogle, visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/brutaljogle

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