Running 30 marathons in 30 days or spending 30 hours sitting in a bath of baked beans may not be for everyone – but they are just two of the challenges one Weston man has set himself in an incredible year of fundraising for Weston Hospicecare.
Graham Hunt has set himself an astonishing 12-month challenge agenda to help celebrate the charity’s 30th anniversary year which also includes climbing Mount Kilimanjaro and cycling from London to Paris.
Builder Graham, aged 47, has been raising money for the charity for a number of years after his wife Victoria was cared for by the hospice before she died. He took part in the London Marathon for the hospice in 2018, but now he is set to take on his biggest challenge yet.
His other planned challenges include running the 30-mile route of the hospice’s annual Mendip Challenge in June, walking for 30 hours non-stop in February and pushing himself through an entirely different type of pain barrier in August.
His astonishing list of challenges for 2019 in full:
January – Swimming 30 laps each day for 30 days
February – Walkathon, walking for 30 hours continuously
March – Rowing 30km every day, for 30 days
April – Sit in a bathtub of baked beans for 30 hours
May – Cycling from London to Paris in 24 hours
June – Mendip Challenge, running 30 miles
July – Cycling 30 miles every day, for 30 days
August – Auction/raffle plus a full body wax
September – 30-hour five-a-side football marathon
October – Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
November – TBC
December – 30 marathons in 30 days
Graham said: “After being picked to support the hospice by running the London Marathon in 2018, I was talking to a hospice staff member when they asked me what is next. Without thinking I said, ‘I’ve got a couple of ideas’, which I totally didn’t.
“It was then mentioned to me the hospice would be marking its 30th anniversary this year and something just clicked about the whole year and wanting to take on a challenge every month.”
Graham says the hospice has the power to bring the community together through various fundraising events, particularly in its 30th year of caring.
He continued: “The country as a whole could learn so much from the efforts of the staff and volunteers at the hospice.
“The hospice is such an important part of the whole community and fundraising events bring the whole community together through different events such as fates, projects and even their shops. The hospice is all about the community.
“On a personal note, I had the worst day of my life at the hospice but I love being there, being involved in events or just saying hello to the fundraising team, who do the best coffee and cake!”
Graham has supported the hospice many times but this year he wanted to go one step further.
He said: “You only turn 30 once so I thought I’d up my game. I truly believe people should get involved with the hospice whether they have lost a loved one or not.”
You can support Graham by visiting www.justgiving.com/fundraising/graham-hunt-6610 and leaving a donation.
People who wish to get involved in the challenges can do so, too. Graham is inviting people to join him for individual legs of his fundraising, while people can set challenges of their own through the hospice’s Challenge30 initiative, which encourages people to celebrate the hospice’s anniversary by dreaming up their own ideas.
Those ideas could be inspired by Graham’s activities, or be something entirely different. Fundraising proposals suggested so far include a 30-day abstinence from treats like wine or chocolate, a pounds-for-pounds 30-day sponsored weight loss challenge, walking or running a set distance each day for 30 days, or taking on 30 good deeds for friends and neighbours in return for donations.
Weston Hospicecare has to raise £4.2million every year to support the expert and compassionate care given to those with life-limiting illnesses so fundraising efforts such as Graham’s are vital.