When George lost a friend to cancer he saw for himself the vital work done by St Wilfrid’s Hospice. Raising funds for items on their wish list ever since, his latest venture will be a walk in the park. Literally.
“I am going to walk a marathon around the walls in Priory Park to raise much-needed funds,” George explained, listing a padded sling, two sets of slide sheets, six 'Handy Bars' for cars and ten memory boxes for children who are experiencing the loss of a loved one as the specific items he will be putting one foot in front of the other for.
“My friend and colleague Maryan was diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and passed away in St Wilfrid’s in 2012. There are lots of clichés that I could use, but the work they do is just fantastic. It costs a lot of money to keep the Hospice going because the Government only partially funds their work, so fundraising is really important, especially now that St Wilfrid’s is expanding and moving to Bosham.”
Originally from Northern Ireland, George’s childhood involved plenty of walking.
“Where we lived you had to go through six gates on the way to school and then six on the way back. Getting older makes you think about your health more and walking is a great way to keep fit,” said George, acknowledging recent news reports that say even walking for a short time each day can have a positive impact on our health.
“We don’t even need to get up to turn the TV over anymore. You have to make a conscious effort to move more. I love the park and have walked around it a lot in the past few years trying to lose weight,” he told me, explaining how he had to have vein surgery after spending his professional life in retail, on his feet for most of the working day.
Having supported and raised money for St Wilfrid’s ever since Maryan’s death, George has even baked cakes to drum up cash.
“I must have got that skill from my mother along with the varicose veins,” he chuckled.
Now looking for sponsorship for his epic walk, he is delighted with the support so far from individuals and local businesses.
“People have been great, especially Danielle and Evan at The Four Chesnuts pub,” said George, who is hoping that wearing his St Wilfrid’s T-shirt while he is training will also encourage sponsorship.
Expressing gratitude also to friends who have ferried him to places to train, George reassured me that the distance has been measured and verified by both a council official and the Park’s groundsman.
“Fifty-three laps works out as just over a marathon. I will do it whatever the weather,” he vowed.
George’s marathon walk takes place from 8am on Saturday 30th September in Priory Park, Chichester. To sponsor or donate visit www.dreamchallange.everydayhero.com/uk/georgekidd-lapitupchallenge or email firstname.lastname@example.org
St Wilfrid’s Hospice: www.stwh.co.uk