Group of walkers get their charity fund raising DOUBLED by Anglia Co-operative Community Fund

A GROUP of sponsored walkers have helped a memorial fund in aid of a local hospice pass a special milestone.

Ely man Robert Barnes set out to raise �100,000 for the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity in memory of his wife, Lisa, who died of stomach cancer.

Lisa’s Fund was launched in October 2010 – and just 20 months later Robert has passed the �50,000 mark, thanks to a 25-mile sponsored walk by staff from the Anglia Co-operative foodstore in Littleport.

The 18 walkers – staff, family and friends – raised �1,315.20 and that figure has now been doubled to �2,630.40 by the Anglia Co-operative Community Fund.

The group walked from Cambridge to the store in Wisbech Road in pouring rain on Easter Sunday and Mr Barnes said: “I met them at the store with a memorial fund banner and, as they came round the corner and saw me and the banner, several of them were moved to tears.

“It was really emotional for me, too. I felt so proud and honoured to think that so many people could give up their Easter Sunday to raise money for my late wife’s memorial fund.

“They were totally exhausted and I thanked them all individually. It’s just fantastic that the Anglia Co-operative Community Fund has doubled the money raised.

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“I’ve still got over �50,000 to go and everywhere I go people are willing me to get there. To be honest, at 62 and working full-time, I’m feeling the pace now.

“But I have a great amount of respect for everyone at the hospice. I have lots of fundraising events coming up and Lisa’s courage and determination has given me the wherewithal to set the fund up.”

The Arthur Rank Hospice is based in Cambridge and runs a clinic on Fridays in Ely. It supports terminally ill patients and their families and, although it receives �1million annually from the NHS, fundraisers have to raise a further �1.4million each year.