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Nine-year-old Hector runs for St Clare Hospice

Charity / Wed 20th Jan 2021 at 01:38pm

A NINE-year-old boy from Ongar, Hector Bodiam, is undertaking a running challenge for the whole of Lockdown 3.0 to raise funds for St Clare Hospice, who cared for his Grandad Bobby.

Hector began his challenge on 6th January 2021 when his primary school was shut due to the COVID pandemic and his family wanted to find a way to keep physically active during the winter lockdown. Hector has committed to running 1km every day on the family’s running machine for the whole of lockdown – and decided to use the opportunity to fundraise for St Clare Hospice.

Hector’s grandfather, Bob Bowers, was cared for on the Hospice charity’s Inpatient Unit for two weeks before his death from oesophageal cancer on 21st April 2017, when Hector was just 6 years old.

Hector’s fundraising target was set at £100 – an amount which he smashed in just three days, reaching over £1,000. His fundraising page is currently on more than £1,500 which is enough to fund more than thirty 90-minute home visits by one of the charity’s Hospice at Home healthcare assistants.

Hector’s mother, Claire Bodiam, said: “The idea for Hector’s fundraising challenge came about because of Lockdown 3.0 and his school shutting once again. As a family we’ve been trying to keep active during the winter lockdown, when we can barely leave the house and the weather is gloomy. Luckily we have a running machine which we’ve all been using. Hector and his brothers are missing their PE lessons and football practice, so they’ve all been having a go on the running machine.”

“Hector decided that to keep himself motivated, and to make a difference to help others, he would raise sponsorship whilst doing his 1km every day. St Clare Hospice cared for his Grandad Bobby and we felt it was the perfect charity to support as a way of saying ‘thank you’ to the Hospice. We were bowled away that he raised over £1,000 in just three days, and it’s a fantastic motivator for Hector – he is so eager to get on the running machine every day to do his kilometre.”

“We don’t know how long this lockdown will be, it could be four weeks or four months! But Hector is determined to keep it going throughout. He loved his Grandad so much and St Clare’s is such an incredible place and a great local cause who need our support through the pandemic more than ever.”

Commenting on the care St Clare Hospice provided her father, Claire said: “My dad, Bob, had cancer of the oesophagus and came in to be cared for on the Inpatient Unit at St Clare in April 2017 at the age of 74 years. My mum and I had been caring for him at home but the level of care he needed was beyond us and we were just muddling through.”

“When I thought of the word ‘hospice’ it seemed so scary to me, because I didn’t know what to expect. But it honestly was the most incredible place. It may sound like an exaggeration but St Clare’s saved mine and my Mum’s lives! Everyone there was so lovely and kind, and it was such a relief that Dad was being cared for properly in such a calm environment and a special place.”

“We hope Hector’s Lockdown Kilometre Challenge inspires other people to take on fundraising challenges too. We just want to raise awareness of how amazing St Clare’s is and to help raise funds to support them through the pandemic which has had such a negative impact on their ability to fundraise.”

Hector is running 1km every day for the whole of Lockdown 3.0 and is fundraising for St Clare Hospice. You can donate to his fundraiser here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/claire-bodiam1

For more information about St Clare Hospice care, visit: www.stclarehospice.org.uk

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