Barrowden man helps boost Thorpe Hall hospice fundraising total

Dick Clarke, who cycled from Lands' End to John O'Groats to mark his 60th birthday and raise money for the Thorpe Hall Hospice appeal. Pictured in front of The Exeter Arms at Barrowden.  From left, Anna Clarke, Exeter Arms landlord and brewer Martin Allsopp, Thorpe Hall Hospice regional fundraiser Alison Toomey, support driver Chris Dunn, Sally the lurcher, and Dick Clarke.'Photo: MSMP030913-006ow
Dick Clarke, who cycled from Lands' End to John O'Groats to mark his 60th birthday and raise money for the Thorpe Hall Hospice appeal. Pictured in front of The Exeter Arms at Barrowden. From left, Anna Clarke, Exeter Arms landlord and brewer Martin Allsopp, Thorpe Hall Hospice regional fundraiser Alison Toomey, support driver Chris Dunn, Sally the lurcher, and Dick Clarke.'Photo: MSMP030913-006ow
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An appeal to raise £6m for a new hospice is nearing its first major milestone.

The fundraising total at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall has reached £1,372,538 which is 91 per cent of the team’s first £1.5m target.

The overall aim is to raise £6m for a new state-of-the-art hospice next to the current Grade I listed Thorpe Hall in Peterborough.

Palliative care services manager Philip Ball said: “The last month has seen a big leap in our fundraising total. This is all down to the incredible support we have had from local people, groups and businesses.

“Seeing the money rolling in is testament to the strength of feeling there is for Thorpe Hall in the local area. People understand the importance of what we do and what we want our future to be and they want to get involved.”

Among those supporting the appeal is Dick Clarke, of Tippings Lane, Barrowden, who cycled 1,115 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats. He raised £6,500.

Dick, 60, said: “There were some tough sections but I felt elated at the end. It feels great to know the money I have raised will make a real difference.”

Dick, who runs The Old House Gallery in Market 
Place, Oakham, was joined by friends and family along the way. He completed the ride in three weeks and two days.

He said: “I enjoyed the ride and the support I have received from people along the way just made it even better. I met some great people on route, including a man behind me in a shop who donated the change from his newspaper.”

His fundraising was boosted by the landlord of The Exeter Arms in Barrowden. Martin Allsopp brewed a special beer, Seven Ryders, and donated 50p from every pint sold during Dick’s trip to the charity. He raised £400 for the appeal.

Some building work has already started on the hospice site. A wall which will surround the new hospice is being rebuilt. Each stone has been taken down, cleaned and is now being rebuilt on top of new foundations.

A workshop area is being refurbished to create a new charity shop, which should open before Christmas with space for more stock, and the west wing of the current hall is being refurbished to provide a space for day centre services.

Building work on the new hospice is expected to start in the spring.

Anyone interested in supporting the appeal can visit the Thorpe Hall website for more details.

A tabletop sale will take place at Stamford Arts Centre on Sunday from 11am until 3pm.

It will include books, toys, cakes, bric a brac and furniture.

Admission is 50p and proceeds will be split between the Thorpe Hall appeal and the Labrador Lifeline Trust.