School staff take on Cheltenham Half for Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice

A team of seven staff from Gloucester’s Chosen Hill School will be lining up at the start of the Still Moving Cheltenham Half Marathon in September in memory of loved ones, raising funds for Leckhampton Court Hospice.

Chosen Hill staff taking part in the Still Moving Cheltenham Half Marathon in September 2019 in support of Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice strike a running pose

Helen Kimber (careers lead), Ian Bird (lead teacher of economics and business), Mark Aylen (site assistant), Peter Jeffery (history teacher), Alison Williams (careers advisor), Emily Hall (science teacher) and Leia Rosenberg (student and families welfare officer) will all be pulling on their Team Incredible Sue Ryder running vests to run the 13.1 mile challenge on Sunday 29th September.

Each has a personal reason for running, but together as a team they’ll cover 91 miles across Cheltenham in a bid to raise over £2,000 for Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice who helped care for wives, sons, grandparents and friends.

Ian Bird is running in memory of his wife. He said, "I’m running for Sue Ryder because of the fantastic care they gave my late wife Lindsay as she slowly died of a brain tumour and the support they gave me and my children as we went through such a difficult time. Every penny raised makes a real difference to patients and families dealing with terminal illness".

Leia Rosenberg is running in memory of her son. She said, “In October 2015 my son, Connor, lost his battle with cancer aged 18. He spent a very short period of time at Leckhampton Court Hospice and their care of him was amazing. In the dark days which followed the support they gave me was nothing short of amazing, and it continues to this day. My son's picnic bench is at the hospice, and it provides a quiet, safe space for me and my daughter to go.

"When I'm struggling I can still pop along to the chapel and I’m offered a cup of coffee and comfort. Without the hospice I do not know where I would go. I am running this race, along with many others on the way, to raise money for Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice".

Alison is running in memory of her Dad, saying: "I am running in memory of my Dad as he supported me every step of the way. When Dad needed support at the end of his days the Sue Ryder staff supported him and my family every step of the way, so I’m running in support of them all so they can carry on doing what they do".

Helen Kimber, fresh from running the Great North Run earlier this month in support of the hospice, will be running to give back for the care given to a friend who lost her husband to cancer. She said, “I felt helpless but Sue Ryder provided care and supported the family through the darkest days. I couldn't do anything to help, but Sue Ryder did. All I could do was run. That’s why I’m taking on the Great North Run and Cheltenham Half Marathon in just one month.”

Emily Hall is running in memory of her Grandma. “I want to try and show a tiny fraction of the courage and determination in the run that she showed trying to fight off her stomach cancer,” she shares. “Sue Ryder is such an important charity to helping cancer sufferers and their families, and I want to be part of making sure that their work continues."

Mark Aylen will be lacing up his trainers for the help and care given to his Grandad, as well as all other people he knows that need the vital support the charity gives. “I have a blood disorder myself and have to visit a clinic regularly, so I can see for myself how important it is that we raise as much money as we can to support such a wonderful charity."

They will be joined by Peter Jeffery, who is a seasoned Cheltenham Half Marathon runner. He said, “Although I have run this race a few times in the past, the chance to be part of a team raising money for such an important cause makes it far more important. It will make all the training exercises and next day stiff limbs worthwhile, especially when knowing that Sue Ryder is a charity in it for the long run too. Sadly there are few of us that do not know of a relative or friend who has needed that extra support at a most difficult time in our lives.”

The team has been busy training and fundraising, recently holding a bake sale at the school to help them towards their £2,000 fundraising target.

Support the team

With just under two weeks to go until they line up at the start, the big hearted secondary school staff have so far raised over £1,000. Make a donation online to support the team via their JustGiving page.

Take on your own challenge event for Sue Ryder

Visit our events listing to find out about the runs, treks and cycling events you can do to help us be there for more people when it matters.

For more information on Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice visit