On Saturday 5th October nine supporters together with Southend United's Head of Commercial Rhys Ellingham will be trekking the 33.4 miles from Roots Hall to Gillingham's Priestfield Stadium, Kent to the away game between Southend United and Gillingham, to raise funds for the Shrimpers Trust and local children's charity Little Havens Hospice.
In advance of the trudge to Gillingham, which sees the group leaving Roots Hall at 11pm the previous day to walk throughout the night, the team took some time out from training to attend an open evening at Little Havens Hospice in Dawes Heath Road, Benfleet. Here they were able to witness first-hand the unbelievable work the hospice carries out within the local community.
Little Havens provides care to local children and young people aged from birth to 19 years old who have life limiting or life threatening conditions. Through its support groups it also provides essential services to parents and siblings to help them through such difficult times. Residential and community services extend across the county of Essex, including respite and end-of-life care.
Gills walker and lifelong Blues fan Sarah Franklin who is also a volunteer at the children's hospice, said "I lost a family friend at the age of 15 who was cared for at the hospice. I had the opportunity recently to join Little Havens as a volunteer so I know what a wonderful place it is. The medical and support teams there are amazing and they provide such a brilliant environment for the children and their families. I feel very privileged to be able to spend time there each week"
It is very difficult to put in to words the different range of emotions felt during the visit when walking through the various areas of the gardens and going from room to room, finally ending up in a special suite put aside for the young patient and their family during their final days.
We were also shown a short film which interviews Liz Chaplin who tells us about her daughter Ava and the difference Little Havens has made to their lives and that of Ava's big brother George and dad Danny who stayed at the Hospice, and we urge you to watch it as it says more about the incredible work Little Havens does than can be written here.
Essex based Little Havens Hospice, provides such valuable care to children and young people aged from birth to 19 years old who have life limiting or life threatening conditions. Through its support groups it also provides essential services to parents and siblings to help them through such difficult times. Residential and community services extend across the county of Essex, including respite and end-of-life care.
When a family has been told that there's no cure for their child's illness, Little Havens Hospice can help. They are there to make the journey as comfortable as possible, controlling pain and medication, offering respite and caring for children at the end of their lives. Their specialist care is free - for as long as is needed - within the family home and at our hospice.
Through the Trust's fund raising efforts we want to contribute to the Hospice's work in enabling them to continue to provide the highest quality palliative care services to those impacted in our local community.
It costs around £46,000 per week to run the hospice and if you are sat there reading this and thinking "what's the point of donating - my £10 won't make any difference"
Well think again; just £8.67 could pay for a family meal at Little Havens, £10.26 could pay for one child's session in their sensory room and £15.30 could pay for one hour of nursing care.
We really want to do all we can to make this event a great success and therefore any sponsorship pledge you can make no matter how small will be very welcome, with monies raised to be split 50/50 between the Trust and Little Havens Hospice.
You can sponsor the team or an individual walker - we really don't mind. Our team will all have sponsor forms available or alternatively you can make a donation by cheque. Cheques should be made payable to the Shrimpers Trust (or Little Havens Hospice if you prefer) and sent to Journey to the Gills, The Shrimpers Trust, PO Box 5830, Southend-on-Sea, Essex SS1 9FD.
You can also download a sponsorship form by clicking here, add your details and post it back to the Trust with your cheque.
If you are a UK taxpayer, please remember to tick the Gift Aid box when donating as this will increase your donation by at least 25% at no cost to you.
For those who want to donate straight to the just giving page, they can use the link here.
This event is kindly organised by a supporter of Little Havens Hospice.
Any queries about the event should be directed to the organiser Lesley Hicks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Journey To The Gills Team