Community comes together to secure hospice care for region

May 12, 2019 by

Over the May Bank Holiday, a local charity launched a community challenge to raise funds for a new hospice which will eventually care for thousands of local people. 

On Saturday 4th May Havens Hospices teamed up with the Lobster Smack Pub on Canvey Island to launch their two-week Canvey Community Challenge with a Family Fun Day to encourage residents and businesses on the island to help raise £20,000 for the new Fair Havens and help the charity give people across South East Essex a new, modern hospice to turn to when they are facing an illness that cannot be cured and from which they are likely to die

The £20,000 fundraising challenge has been very well received, with many schools and businesses getting involved, including Hawksbury Preschool who held a “Dress like a Hero” Day on Tuesday 7th May and Canvey Supply who have put some donation tins at their tills and are asking their customers to help add to the total. 

Sally Bridger, Community Fundraiser at Havens Hospices said “We’re only a few days in to the challenge and we’ve had such a great response. We’re hoping that everyone can get involved and help us reach our £20,000 target; however, you decide to fundraise will make a huge difference. Whether you decide to hold an event like a work bake off or non-uniform day, take part in a sponsored silence or even just put a tin in your shop you’ll be helping us get even closer to building the new Fair Havens.”

Havens Hospices are finishing the 14-day challenge with a family friendly Havens Hero Walk, which will take supporters along the seawall starting at Labworth Café. All walkers are encouraged to dress up as their favourite hero and children will receive a Havens Hero wristband and sweet treat when they cross the finish line at the Island Yacht Club.

All adults walk free when they are accompanied by a Child who has purchased a £5 ticket. The route is wheelchair, pushchair and dog-friendly and participants will get a chance to meet a few Superheroes and local community heroes as they complete the 1.5-mile walk.

The walk is going to be opened by a real-life Havens Hero and Canvey resident Lee Allen. Last month, 52-year old Lee ran his 21st London Marathon for the charity; since his first London Marathon as a member of Team Havens in 1996, Lee has raised nearly £30,000 for Havens Hospices.

He said, “I’m incredibly honoured that I’ve been asked to open the Havens Hero Walk and am hoping that my fellow islanders will join me for the day and help Havens Hospices ‘take the next step’ in their journey. I know what a difference the new hospice is going to make to the community, my friend Bryan was cared for at the current Fair Havens and honestly the care they gave him and his family at the end of his life was fantastic. It is awful that the charity has to currently turn away 11-patients like Bryan every month; so I am really hoping that as a community we can help Havens Hospices get to their new hospice and secure local hospice care for not just our generation but future generations too.” 

As well as asking residents to take part in the Hero Walk, the charity is also appealing for volunteers to join them on Saturday 18th May to help marshal along the route and encourage all walkers. If you want to get involved, but don’t want to take part in the walk joining the charity as an Occasional Volunteer is the perfect way to still make a big difference for your community and still be a part of what is set to be a fun day.

To find out more about the Canvey Community Challenge or find out how you can take part please call Emma Young on 01702 220305 or email To find out more about volunteering at the Havens Hero Walk please visit 

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