A WOMAN from Arthington has completed the 25km Thames Bridge Challenge, in memory of her husband who was cared for at Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice in Leeds.

Jan Spencer, 70, embarked on the challenge alongside her children Nick and Charlotte, walking from Putney Bridge through the capital to historic Tower Bridge. So far, they have notched up an incredible £2,300 for Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice in Leeds. Jan’s husband, David, was cared for at the hospice in early 2020, and it was the care and support the whole family received that inspired her to start fundraising for the charity: “Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice was so marvellous to him, we couldn’t have managed without them,” she said.

This challenge marks the second time Jan has laced up her walking boots to raise money for Sue Ryder: “It started last year, I was doing the Camino Trail and I thought I could raise some money for the charity, so I started a JustGiving page, posted it to Facebook and people started donating.”

Spurred on by her fundraising success and determined to raise as much money as possible for Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice Jan knew she wanted to do something else this year. Explaining how she came to take part in this particular event: “I had a ‘big birthday’ approaching, and I knew that I didn’t want to do a party, so, when I saw the Thames Bridge Challenge fell on my birthday weekend I thought I’d do that instead.

“I asked my son and my daughter if they wanted to do it with me and it quickly became a whole family affair, my daughter in law looked after the children and my son in law looked after the dogs - it all worked out very well.

“My grandchildren were so excited to see us at the end with our medals, and when we got back they’d put up bunting and balloons to celebrate my birthday as well.”

Jan reflects on what David would have made of his family taking on the challenge: “He would’ve thought that we were completely bonkers, there’s no doubt about that. He’d have been really pleased we had done it together.”

Showing no signs of slowing down her fundraising - or walking - efforts in support of Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice Jan concludes: “I never imagined we’d raise this much, I’ll now have to think about what I’m going to do next year!”

Jo Stevens, Community Fundraising Manager at Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice said: “I would like to extend a huge thank you to Jan, Nick and Charlotte for completing the Thames Bridge Challenge in support of Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice – a fantastic achievement. The money they have raised will ensure that we can keep providing vital and compassionate care to those who need it.”

For more information about Sue Ryder Wheatfields Hospice, visit: sueryder.org/wheatfields

To find out more about fundraising for Sue Ryder Wheatfield’s Hospice, including joining or setting up a fundraising group contact wheatfields.fundraising@sueryder.org

To donate to Jan’s page, visit: justgiving.com/fundraising/spennos