Two Worcestershire friends teamed up to walk more than 25 miles in just one day.
Rhys Ware and Liam Rothwell undertook the Worcester to Birmingham canal route on Saturday 11 August in memory of Rhys’ stepfather, Kevin Bainbridge.
This was the first time the duo – who have so far raised £485 for St Richard’s Hospice – have undertaken such a challenge.
Rhys, who is 27, moved from Cardiff to Worcester when he was 12 years old, shortly after his mum met Kevin. He said : “Kevin, who came to very much be my Dad, moved us from an extremely difficult position in Wales where we had few prospects, to a much better life in Worcester. He improved all of our lives ten fold and completely changed me from a shy and scared child to a confident young man. A mixture of Delboy and Blackadder, he was witty, sarcastic and stubborn; I owe a huge amount to him.”
In mid 2016, Kevin was diagnosed with lung cancer; he died at St Richard’s just before New Year of the same year, aged 54 years old.
Rhys said : “The hospice took such care of my Dad in his final days, providing a service that I can’t articulate. I struggle to find the words to describe my feelings towards the hospice, the kindness, effort and continued support we received – even after Dad died – were simply amazing. I have an almost heartbreaking love for what they have done for us and what they do for others.”
Liam, who is from Worcester, said : “Rhys and I are huge lovers of the outdoors and in particular Worcestershire. The walk was certainly difficult but being surrounded by such beautiful scenery spurred us on; it was an interesting balance between struggle and appreciation!”
In preparation for the walk, Rhys trained in the gym four times a week as well as walking 1.5miles a day. Liam – who now lives in the Lake District – hiked regularly near his home in Grasmere.
During his last days at the hospice, staff organised for Rhys’ Mum, Julie Ware and husband Kevin to have a Blessing. Rhys concluded : “The Blessing was held in the hospice grounds and it was beautiful, one of the best days of my life, my Mum’s life and undoubtedly my Dad’s.”
Jodi Brandwood, Fundraiser at St Richard’s Hospice said : “It is stories like this which are so inspirational. We’d like to thank Rhys and Liam for taking the time to raise funds for our care; they have done fantiastically well!”
There is still time to sponsor Rhys and Liam; please visit http://www.justgiving.com/Delanceythrone.