Runner to take on ‘Fan Dance’ challenge

27th June 2019

A keen runner is set to test himself by taking on a tough challenge famed as forming part of the SAS selection process.

Ian Newell, from Worcester, will tackle the Fan Dance on Saturday, June 29: a 24-kilometre route climbing the 2,907ft Pen y Fan mountain in Wales not once – but twice.

The route is usually marched, however Mr Newell plans to run the course – all to raise money for St Richard’s Hospice, which cared for a family member and friend.

The 42-year-old, who now lives in Droitwich, said: “I like to push myself out of my comfort zone and believe the body is so much more capable than we allow it to be.

“It’s the mindset that has to be right and then you can achieve anything, so when I saw this challenge I just knew I had to give it a go.”

The challenge will see him ascend the peak – the highest in south Wales – before descending and returning the same way.

“I’m running to raise money for St Richard’s Hospice as it provided the most amazing end of life care for my wife’s gran at her home and also for our friend at the hospice itself, both who sadly passed away last year,” he explained.

“I want other families to be able to receive the same free care that we did at the time when you most need it and that can only happen through donations and fundraising, so here I am.”

Mr Newell, who works as a bank manager, is hoping to raise £250 for the Worcester-based charity.

Jodi Brandwood, a fundraiser at St Richard’s Hospice, said: “We think Ian’s challenge is absolutely incredible and wish him all the best for this weekend.

“It is only thanks to the dedication of people like Ian who take on challenges and raise money that we are able to continue caring for patients and their loved ones across the county.”

To donate to Mr Newell, visit

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: To protect patients and staff  from the spread of the virus, we are following national guidance and therefore it is with regret we are not able to accept visitors. Please do not hesitate to contact the In-patient Unit with any questions on 01905 958163. Thank you for your understanding at this difficult time.
  • 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.