The December Daily Dash challenge was started in 2015 by husband and wife team, Mark and Jackie Smith, after Jackie's dad, Mike, received care at a Sue Ryder hospice. The first year saw 13 people take part, with £5,000 raised; in 2020 there were 1,232 participants from across the world who raised a combined £310,000 for Sue Ryder.
Peterborough's 71 participants raised £28,000 of that total, picking up their running shoes come rain or shine (or snow!) through the festive month.
Tui Smith reached a final total of £1,287 for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall hospice, saying: "It matters to me to know that towards the end of life, the carers at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice would be there for our local community.
"My mother died of breast cancer far too early. I only wish that she had somewhere like Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice to fall back on.
"I hope my support will raise funds for the hospice to continue to provide its excellent care for those in most need in their darkest times. There isn’t a better cause to support whilst enhancing your own general health and wellbeing."
Jackie Kynaston, another local runner who raised £318, added: "We didn’t have the best of weather, but I just kept reminding myself that people who are using the hospice’s services can’t get out to walk, run or dash, so that spurred me on when the rain was lashing down."
Dave Webb also took part, raising £636 in memory of his two neighbours who recently died within weeks of each other, leaving behind two widowers. He said: "Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice stepped in to help them when it really mattered. They were both lovely ladies who will be missed.
"I am a keen runner but was injured for a lot of last year. The December Daily Dash was a personal challenge, as well as an opportunity to do my little bit to support Sue Ryder’s efforts."
The funds raised by the December Daily Dash-ers have come at a crucial time for Sue Ryder, after it was forced to launch a second urgent fundraising campaign at the end of 2020 in response to the impact that Covid-19 is having on its funding. Another national lockdown means that the charity's struggles will continue; further fundraising events have been cancelled and Sue Ryder charity shops have had to close once again.
Joely Garner, community fundraising manager at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, said: "I would like to take this opportunity to share a huge thank you to each and every person who completed the December Daily Dash in support of our hospice. For every step you took and pound you’ve raised you’re helped us continue to be there when it matters for local families."
For more information and to donate to the urgent fundraising campaign visit www.sueryder.org/winterappeal20.