Paul Dennett, 44, a father of three from Frampton Cotterell, South Gloucestershire, is running 112 miles from London to Bristol in just 24 hours. Dubbed ‘The Long Run Home’ Paul will be pounding the streets on Saturday 10 April in support of Children’s Hospice South West's (CHSW) Sibling Support Service.
Paul has a history of putting his body on the line for CHSW, a cause very close to his heart. Over the years he has taken part in some gruelling events in support of the charity and raised over £26,700 to date.
Alex Bright, 50 from Emersons Green has known Paul for many years and she knows only too well the difference Paul’s fundraising makes to the hospice as she has been supported by CHSW’s Charlton Farm along with son Jack, 13, and daughter, Lotte, 14 for the past ten years.
Jack has Pallister-Killian syndrome, an extremely rare, life-limiting illness and requires round the clock care. Described as a ‘super-cheeky chap’, Jack loves his visits to the hospice, particularly his sessions with the music therapist.
Alex said: “Lotte loves it here too. She’s always been quite shy and attached to me, but from an early age she would come through the doors and would be off into the dressing up area! I would get Jack settled in and then I’d go upstairs to catch up on my sleep.”
The Sibling Team have a wealth of experience to help Lotte and she listens to them. She values their time and experience and they understand how she feels as a sibling of a child who may not have a long life
Alex says voluntary donations are vital to keep the hospice going to support families like hers and would urge anyone to donate to Paul’s fundraising challenge. “Our wheels would’ve completely fallen off many, many years ago if we hadn’t had the hospice. They have been there through many of life’s ups and downs.”
Any money raised by Paul will be going to support the Sibling Team at Charlton Farm as this service has been a lifeline to both Alex and Lotte.
Alex said: “I’ve always been clear with Lotte from the beginning about what the hospice is. She knew we were coming because we needed some help and that there would be children there who would be ill and some who would die. Siblings of poorly children often turn into natural carers and that’s what happened to Lotte. When we first came to Charlton Farm for respite she wouldn’t leave Jack’s side, but the Sibling Team have been there since day one. They have a wealth of experience to help her and she listens to them. She values their time and experience and they understand how she feels as a sibling of a child who may not have a long life.”
Frances Kenneally, Area Fundraiser at CHSW, said: “The care offered at each of our hospices is not simply about medical and nursing care for sick children, but about enriching the lives of children and their families. The Sibling Service which Paul is raising money for provides dedicated support and care to the brothers and sisters of life limited children. We would encourage people to show their support to Paul who is taking on an incredible challenge on behalf of families who need us now more than ever.”
To show your support for Paul, please donate to his fundraising page at: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/TheLongRunHome