Toby's marathon in memory of Nanny June
AFTER Toby Fletcher's grandmother died of cancer, he was determined to raise some money to help the hospice where she spent her final days.
The young Frampton Cotterell rugby player set a target of £150 and decided to run a marathon distance - just over 26 miles - in 12 days during the run-up to Christmas.
But as word spread about his challenge, money started to pour in - and he raised £3,745 for St Peter’s Hospice.
Toby plays for Frampton Cotterell Rugby Club, and his grandmother, known as Nanny June or Nanny Ju to her grandchildren, shared his love of rugby.
She would join the family on Fram junior rugby tours, as well as taking him to games and buying him Bristol Bears kit.
June died in February last year in St Peter’s Hospice in Bristol, the only hospice which gives end of life care to local adults.
Care is free, but costs the hospice £20,000 a day, which is provided by public fundraising, income from its charity shops and legacies.
It has no government funding and in 2020 the hospice lost more than £2 million as the coronavirus pandemic hit shops and fundraising activities, directly impacting the charity's ability to care for those who need it.
Toby ran through some of the worst the British weather could throw at him, doing much of the distance near home but running his last mile around the pitch at the Bears' home stadium, Ashton Gate, where he received messages from head coach Pat Lam and player Joe Joyce.
Pat said: " A massive shout out to Toby Fletcher from all of us at the Bears who is running a Marathon for the Hospice. Well done mate, go well and one step at a time." Joe said: "I think what you’re doing is pretty amazing especially for a kid your age. It's extra special doing your last mile at Ashton Gate.”
Toby’s parents, Claire and Giles, said: " We are super proud of what Toby has done. He would get up early before school to get some miles in and wouldn't be put off by the rain or cold. He was regularly recognised when he was out running and was motivated by the car horns and shout outs."
Toby said: "I wanted to raise money for the hospice as they looked after my Nanny so well, I think she would be really proud of me"
You can still support Toby by donating via his fundraising page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/claire-fletcher20