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EDEN VALLEY HOSPICE: Gillies walk 900 miles

Money raised by youngsters in epic challenge

9 June 2020

Players, coaches and families from a local junior football club have walked more than 900 miles to help the care, support and activities provided at Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw, Cumbria’s Children’s Hospice.

At the beginning of May Gillford Gillies Under 8’s football team challenged themselves to walk virtually from Brunton Park, Carlisle, to Wembley Stadium, a total of 311 miles. After just a couple of weeks the group of fundraisers had reached their target distance and decided to extend the challenge as they raised money in aid of charity.

Darren Scaife, Gillford Gillies Coach, explained “Now that our challenge is complete, I feel extremely proud. Proud of a group of 7 and 8 year olds going out daily and contributing towards two charities. I would never have thought that we’d do as many miles as we eventually did, 917 miles in total.

“To walk, run or cycle to Wembley from Brunton Park in 11 days was a tremendous effort but it made me have to come up with another stadium to reach. I chose the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam and we also reached there and nearly made it back to Wembley again too.

“For a group of 7 and 8 year olds to complete 917 miles is an amazing feat and I’m so very proud of them all and honoured to be their football coach.”

To date the Gillford Gillies have raised over £900, including Gift Aid, for Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw. The money will help the charity to provide the highest standards of care, support and activities to local children and adults with life limiting illnesses. If you would like to sponsor the football team now they have completed the challenge please visit

Darren continued, “I thought that with so many people going through so much currently that £200 would be a good target to hit. But due to the efforts of the boys and their supportive parents, other members of our football club and the generosity of the general public, I had to up our target 3 times. Without the support of the general public, my football club and parents then none of this would’ve been possible. Thank you all.

“Throughout our month-long challenge there have been many highlights, but a particular highlight for me has been receiving pictures from the boys’ parents of them on their daily exercise with their families enjoying being out and about in our local area.

“Special thanks go to the parents of the boys, because without them sharing my social media posts and remembering to record their daily exercise we wouldn’t have walked and raised as much as we did. Once again, thank you Gillies family.”

As key workers, both the clinical and support staff teams at Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw are here for the local community. The hospice is doing all it can during these times to continue to provide care to those in need, whilst following strict guidelines.

Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw is open and continuing to provide care and compassion to local people with life limiting illnesses. The hospice is there for the local community and still supporting the NHS.

Darren concluded, “If anyone is reading this and would like to do something for Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw, then please get in touch with them and see how you can help. They both do an amazing job on a daily basis.”

If you would like to host your own fundraising event in aid of Eden Valley Hospice and Jigsaw please visit,, email or contact the Fundraising Team on 01228 810801.

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