Natalie finishing her half marathon. Image Sue Ryder

Two friends from Marston Moretaine and Carlisle, have joined forces to raise as much money as possible for a Sue Ryder hospice – by taking on a series of demanding charity challenges.

Natalie Rose, from Marston Moretaine, Bedfordshire, and Alastair Jagger, from Carlisle, Cumbria, have kick-started their fundraising for Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice ahead of a planned charity trek to Iceland later this year.

The pair have been taking on challenges to raise funds for the Bedfordshire hospice, which cares for people with life-limiting conditions and also supports their loved ones.

Alastair hopped on his bike in Carlisle and braved the wet May weather to cycle 100 miles in 10 days, raising £490.

Meanwhile, Natalie laced up her trainers and despite only recently having taken up running, completed a half marathon in about two hours in the Marston Moretaine area. Natalie raised more than £1,200.

Coronavirus restrictions allowing, the two pals will take on a five-day Northern Lights Winter Trek and hike through stunning Icelandic mountain scenery in October and November.

Natalie explained why she was inspired to support Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice:

“Nearly five years ago I was diagnosed with skin cancer. Whilst I am in remission and I beat the big C, there are others less fortunate than me so I decided it was time to give something back to a local charity that supports people with cancer.

“I signed up for the trek to Iceland and Alastair was then inspired by me to sign up, so we are trekking together. My preparation for Iceland has started – I work out three times a week, do a daily walk, and run three times a week… Iceland, I’m ready for you.”

Alastair added:

“My friend Natalie originally signed up to do the Iceland trek as a cancer survivor, so I decided to join her to support her along the way. Cancer has affected my family directly, so I’m really proud to be able to support such a worthwhile charity.

“As part of my fundraising efforts I decided to cycle 100 miles in 10 days. It was easier said than done! I thought the May weather would be kind, but I had more rain and hail than sunshine. Nevertheless, I’m really pleased to have contributed towards my fundraising target.”

You can support Natalie’s fundraiser through PayPal,  and Alastair’s fundraiser on Facebook

Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice is searching for more super supporters like Natalie and Alastair to take on challenges and raise vital funds towards its expert palliative care and bereavement support.

To find out more, phone the hospice’s fundraising team on 01767 642 412 or email stjohnsfundraising@sueryder.org.

You can also find out more about supporting Sue Ryder at: sueryder.org/supportus.

Alastair pictured out cycling Image: Sue Ryder