Runner to attempt marathon in back garden

9th April 2020

A dedicated runner is set to complete a marathon in her back garden – to raise funds for the hospice which cared for her brother.

Jane Fletcher, from Droitwich, will take on the challenge on Sunday, April 26 – to coincide with what would have been the 40th London Marathon.

In light of social distancing measures in place during the Covid-19 pandemic, she will run the 26.2 miles in her 7×8 metre garden – a total of 1,405 laps.

The mother-of-two is raising funds for St Richard’s Hospice, which cared for her brother Paul before he died aged 34 in 2010.

“I plan to start around 8am,” said Ms Fletcher, 50. “I’ll mainly be running on grass although we do have some decking so I may run on that for a change of scenery! If I get really bored then I’ll run around my car on the front drive!”

Last year, Ms Fletcher ran the London Marathon for St Richard’s and raised £3,000 – adding to the impressive total of more than £50,000 raised by her family since 2010.

She said: “It’s important to me to support St Richard’s Hospice during the Covid-19 lockdown, as they have to continue raising much needed money following the postponement of many fundraising events and temporary closure of their charity shops.

“St Richard’s were amazing in their care for Paul in his last few weeks, and also with the support they provided to our family afterwards.

“It’s very important to me and my family – it’s a way of keeping Paul’s memory alive and for something good to come out of his death.

“The hospice do amazing work and we will always be grateful to them for their support when Paul was ill.”

Ms Fletcher hopes to complete the run in around seven hours, and will be cheered on by her family members at home.

Tricia Cavell, Fundraising Director at St Richard’s Hospice, said: “We are in awe of the incredible commitment shown by Jane and her family to supporting our hospice, especially in these unprecedented times.

“Jane’s latest challenge will be an amazing feat and we wish her all the very best with the run. While we can’t cheer her on in person – we will be sending her our heartfelt support from afar!

“Our fundraising income has been hit by the coronavirus, as we have had to postpone events and temporarily shut shops.

“But, backed by the help of our amazing community, we are hopeful that we will come through these difficult days together.

“We would like to say a huge ‘thank you’ to Jane, and to everyone who has raised money, donated, or simply passed on kind messages, during these past few weeks. Your support is truly appreciated.”

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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

During this challenging time, we are doing our utmost to continue caring for the patients and loved ones who need us most.

The way we work has been adapted, with many of our services delivered remotely – such as over the phone, or by video call. And we are working closely with other health care professionals in Worcestershire to share knowledge and expertise at this time.

Latest changes at St Richard’s Hospice

  • In-patient Unit: It is with great sadness that due to stringent infection control measures, we are required to restrict visiting and cannot offer the comprehensive level of service in the way we usually do. However, we will still do our utmost to make sure that each patient and loved one is given the compassion and dignity they deserve. To help families stay in touch we are encouraging virtual visiting using technology such as video calls and apps. This will be discussed and explained to patients and families on admission and we can help provide access to equipment in the hospice. In addition, the IPU nursing team will liaise with each patient and family to arrange short daily visits from the patient's closest loved one and compassionate visiting, as appropriate. Read the full details here.
  • Community Nursing: Community services continue to operate, with a mixture of hands-on care and remote support.
  • Living Well and Family Support Services: Switched to virtual model, with care given remotely over the phone or via video call.
  • Shops: All 19 of our shops and warehouse are temporarily closed. Please do not leave donations outside our shops, as we are unable to collect them at this time.
  • Fundraising: All hospice organised events until the end of August have been postponed. If you wish to support us, please donate to our Resilience Fund.

Please do not visit St Richard’s Hospice if you have a high temperature or new, continuous cough. If you have these symptoms, please stay at home and self-isolate for seven days. See NHS advice on coronavirus.

Thank you for your support and understanding at this difficult time.