A newly-wed pair of hiking heroes have started their married life together by scaling the UK’s highest mountain, raising vital funds for Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice.
Alice and Alex Nightingale, health and safety trainers from Bradwell-on-Sea in Essex, tied the knot at the end of June.
Fresh from their honeymoon in Scotland, the new Mr and Mrs swapped their suit and dress for a compass and walking boots and embarked on an eleven-mile charity trek to Ben Nevis on Saturday 24 July.
This included a challenging 1,344 metre ascent to the summit of the Scottish mountain.
An inspiring tribute
The couple took on the special adventure in memory of two of their loved ones – Alex’s grandad, Colin, and Alice’s nanny, May.
They are raising vital funds to say thank you to “two very special” hospices who cared for Colin and May last year – Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, and St Luke’s Hospice in Basildon, Essex.
The determined duo have been training hard for months in preparation for their charity climb, including doing fitness coach Joe Wicks’ plan and plenty of cardio and weight training. They also squeezed in lots of walking on their honeymoon with their dogs.
In addition to their mountain trek, Alice and Alex held a collection for the two hospices at their wedding, alongside a beautiful display of their grandparents’ wedding photos.
At the time of writing, they have raised over £1,000 for both hospices, which includes around £500 for Sue Ryder.
“The hospice was strangely one of the happiest places”
Talking about why they were inspired to support Sue Ryder in memory of Alex’s grandad, Colin, and the care he received at Thorpe Hall Hospice, the couple said: “We were absolutely blown away by all of the support that not only grandad received, but our family too.
“We had never been to a hospice before we visited Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice. We were so nervous the first time we came, we had no idea what to expect. We anticipated the whole place to have a dark, sad atmosphere, but couldn’t have been more wrong.
“It was strangely one of the happiest places we have been.
“Every member of staff walked around with a smile on their face, nothing was ever too much for them. They always made sure you were OK. Nothing seemed to be too difficult.
“For example, when grandad was very ill he was able to be moved to sit in the garden for a while, which I know would have meant so much to him.”
“Honoured to be doing this for such an amazing man”
They added: “Grandad’s greatest passion was his family; he would get up to plenty of mischief with the grandchildren and great-grandchildren in more recent times. We all loved him dearly and he never failed to show how much he loved us.
“We are honoured to be doing this for such an amazing man. We feel it would have made him proud knowing that we can give back to the people that helped him so much when he needed it.
“The work hospices and their staff and volunteers do is often overlooked. They look after people when they are at their absolute lowest and do everything they can to make an awful situation the best it can be.”
Helping us be there for other families
Helen Kingston, Community Fundraising Officer at Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall Hospice, said: “From all of us here at Sue Ryder, our congratulations to Alice and Alex on their wedding.
“We are delighted and humbled that they have chosen to start their married life together by taking on this Ben Nevis climb and fundraising for our charity. We want to wish them all the luck in the world and say thank you.
“The funds and awareness raised through their inspiring tribute will help us to continue being there for other families when they need it most.”
Help fill a room with love
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