Gillingham FC supports the Shrimpers Trust on their charity walk for Little Havens Hospice.
Setting off from Roots Hall at 11pm on Friday October 4, the team of ten will trek 33.4 miles from Roots Hall Stadium to the MEMS Priestfield Stadium, arriving for the Gills v Southend United match on Saturday October 5.
The group of ten includes a mixture of staff and supporters, along with a young 13 year old, Callum Turp, who will be completing the walk with his Grandad Tom Flynn.
Southend’s secretary, Lesley Hicks, said: “This is the third walk of this nature which I have completed. It’s a tough distance to complete, however I’m delighted to be taking part. As a lifelong Southend United supporter I am always keen to do what I can to support the football club; but to also be able to raise money for Little Havens who provide such valuable care in our local community to terminally ill youngsters and their families is fantastic and will certainly help push me on.”
For Bryan Woodford, Paul Yeomanson and Paul FitzGerald this will be their fourth and fifth charity walk, but for Sarah Franklin the Journey to the Gills has a special significance.
Sarah said: “I have long supported Little Havens with my family as we sadly lost a family friend at the age of 15 who was cared for at the hospice. I now volunteer at Little Havens so know first-hand what a wonderful place it is. The staff are amazing and provide an incredible environment for poorly children and their families.
“To be able to combine my love of walking and fundraising for a charity is an opportunity I wouldn’t miss.”
Little Havens provides valuable 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.
The Charity event has raised over 70% of their target for this walk so far, but every bit of money goes a long way for Little Havens Hospice. If you would like to contribute you can visit their JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/journeytothegills or give some money on Saturday’s matchday to the buckets provided around the ground.
"We are particularly grateful for the help that our colleagues at Gillingham are giving us with both the Club and supporters getting involved. The Gillingham Independent Supporters Club are helping advertise the event amongst their members and indeed one of their members Derek Gallagher has contacted me offering as a mark of solidarity to walk with us on the final stages. Derek will be meeting up with us when we cross the river. What a great gesture!” said Lesley Hicks.
We wish you all lots of luck and look forward to welcoming you all to the Gills on Saturday!