Thanks to our inspirational marathon runners who’ve raised over £6,000 for Garden House Hospice Care
27th April 2018
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Garden House Hospice Care was well represented in the recent Virgin Money London Marathon (6 runners) and Brighton Marathon (3 runners). Running a marathon is a demanding event that requires participants to make a huge commitment and achieve a high level of fitness. 

Sue Plummer, CEO, Garden House Hospice Care, commented:

"Congratulations and very sincere thanks are due to all our runners; such a commitment is not an easy undertaking and we are proud of all of those who chose to support us in this way. Thank you too to all the people who have sponsored them already; every penny will help us deliver free specialist palliative care to the people in our catchment area who need our support.”

Our London Marathon runners included:

  • Sue Gillespie
  • Fiona Cannon
  • Simon Barnett
  • Felicity Simos
  • Kat Burr
  • Chris Poole

Our Brighton Marathon runners included:

  • Ruth Kennedy
  • Kerry Bonham
  • Dan Mallett
  • Tony Connolly – deferred to London Bridges Trek later in the year



Sue Gillespie, from Stevenage, finished the course in 3 hours 56 minutes.

Her story: ‘My father passed away at Garden House Hospice Care in May 2017 after a very brave battle with cancer. The Hospice cared for my dad as well as our family at the time and have continued to support us after he passed away. All the staff were really supportive and gave the care he needed without intrusion to allow us the maximum amount of time with him.”

After the event, she commented: “The London marathon was the hardest marathon I have run because of the heat and having to hydrate constantly though I am still pleased with my time of 3hrs 56; it was great to have many of my family there to cheer me on. The fact that I had raised just over £1,400 for Garden House Hospice Care, where my father had been this time last year, really spurred me on and I’d like to say a big thank you to everyone who donated.”


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Photo (Left): Sue Gillespie with her father at the Hospice in April 2017; (Right): Sue with her medal after completing the London Marathon

Felicity Simos had a ballot place at the London marathon, her first ever marathon, and said:

“The easiest part has been choosing the charity to fundraise for. The Garden House Hospice in Letchworth looked after my much loved friend Lucy so wonderfully almost 10 years ago. I therefore know first hand the positive difference their care can make to patients, their families and friends at the most difficult time. The Garden House Hospice relies on fundraising in order to provide their important services, so all donations are gratefully received no matter how small.

After the event she commented: “I had such a wonderful day and was relieved to make it round the London Marathon course in one piece, particularly given the heat! It was a truly amazing experience and the support from the crowds and other runners was phenomenal and helped keep me going. I’m so proud to have raised over £1000 for the Garden House Hospice Care (with more to come!).”

Fiona Cannon, one of the Royston Running club, finished the course in 4 hours 45 minutes.

She commented: “Given the heat on the day I was very pleased with my time. The crowds helped me along the way there was so much support from everyone; hearing my name being called out gave me such a boost.  I was so pleased as well to be supporting Garden House Hospice Care and the amazing generosity of my sponsors made sure I was going to get round the course for them as well as for GHCC. There still some more sponsorship promised and I hope it help GHHC with all the important work the Hospice does.”


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Left: Felicity Simos; centre: Simon Barnett; right: Fiona Cannon – all with medals

Simon Barnett who ran his first ever marathon in aid of Garden House Hospice Care, in a great time of 5 hours 23 minutes. He has raised over £1,000 via Just Giving and other donations. After the event he commented:

“I enjoyed the day and the atmosphere was amazing – I’ve never seen London like that before! The encouragement was brilliant from the crowd, they really do get you through that pain barrier that started at about 18 miles and with that heat it was well needed.”

Well done also to:

  • Kat Burr, a North Herts Road Runner, who raised money for both Garden House Hospice Care and National Ankylosing Spondylitis Society.This was her third marathon but first ‘big’ one, aiming for a personal best. She completed it in 3 hours 45 minutes.


  • Chris Poole, another North Herts Road Runner, who completed the run in 4 hours 18 minutes.


Congratulation also to those who took part in the Brighton Marathon in aid of Garden House Hospice Care:

  • Ruth Kennedy who finished the course in 4 hours 53 minutes.
  • Kerry Bonham, who has previously had relatives supported by the Hospice. She completed the run in X hours 6 hours 28.
  • Dan Mallett, a North Herts Road Runner, who completed the run in 4 hours 40 minutes.
  • Tony Connolly for putting in the training, though has had to defer his place due to injury. We wish you all the best with your full recovery and for your future run later in the year. 


Garden House Hospice Care provides a wide range of services for patients, their carers, and families facing a life limiting illness. Free specialist palliative care is provided for over 500 adults a year living with advanced cancer, motor neurone disease or other life limiting illness in our community of 230,000 people in North Hertfordshire, Stevenage, Royston and surrounding villages.

Please note that there is still time to sponsor our 2018 runners either by clicking on their fundraising pages where detailed below. Thank you to our runners for supplying information and photographs.

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