Close Shave & Marathon Run Raises Thousands For KEMP

8th November 2018

The start of November has given KEMP Hospice a fantastic fundraising boost as supporters across the district pledged to raise money for the local charity by shaving heads, running marathons and setting off fireworks.

The first week into the month saw three local supporters raise between them more than £10,500 for KEMP Hospice, which will go towards helping to provide care and support for local people dealing with life-limiting illnesses and bereavement. 

Over £3100 was raised by runner Matthew Franks who took part in the New York Marathon on Sunday 4th November. Matthew, Director of Events at DRP Group in Hartlebury explained why he chose to run in aid of KEMP Hospice:

“In the year 2000 I visited New York City for the first time on my own. Seeing the Manhattan skyline at sunrise for the first time was one of the most incredible things ever.

From that day I'd always hoped I could take my parents there. Sadly, I never had the opportunity and in 2009 I lost my Dad to cancer, shortly after my Mum suffered secondary breast cancer and died in March 2010. 

During their illnesses KEMP Hospice provided voluntary support to both of them. I know this made a real difference to them and to this day I am so grateful.”

In the same weekend that Matthew ran the New York Marathon, local hotel Hogarths Stone Manor near Kidderminster opened their doors in aid of KEMP Hospice to host a Family Fireworks Night. Incredibly generous guests at the event raised £950 for the hospice and Steven Quick, Operations Director for Hogarths Hotels visited the charity to see for himself the work that KEMP do and to present the cheque to KEMP’s Head of Fundraising, Cathy Sloan.

Steven said it was a pleasure to host the event at the hotel in aid of KEMP: “The fireworks events we put on were for very good causes. It was a pleasure to hand over the cheque at KEMP, to a great team who do exceptional work here in the Wyre Forest.” 

One hair-raising event locally though has been a ‘cut above’ all others

On the 26th October KEMP Hospice were made aware of an 18-year-old lad from Stourport called James Barham who was planning to shave his head in aid of KEMP. He told the charity that he was doing it as he had lost his grandmother to cancer in 2013 and that his Mum Emma also was also currently dealing with the disease herself. James had pledged to raise £250, however James was soon joined by thirteen of his friends who had also committed to shaving their heads so that James “wouldn’t have to go through it alone”. 

The story of their comradeship captured the hearts of people across the Wyre Forest and beyond as their story went viral on social media. All of James’ friends had their heads shaved on the night of Halloween at Ballantynes Hair & beauty in Stourport and James had his shaved off at Stourport’s ‘The Black Star Inn’ on Friday 2nd November. It was at The Black Star that KEMP Hospice announced the total raised between them had reached over £6500.

Shelley Stanley, Events Fundraiser at KEMP Hospice said she was blown away by the support this month: “It has been an unbelievable week. The amazing support we have received has been fantastic – we’re blown away by what Matt Franks, everyone at Hogarths, James Barham and his friends and family have done for us. I think it was really put into perspective when we were at James’ head shave when we heard him and his friends saying ‘you have to do something – you have to give back to the community’ – that was a really emotional moment for us, to hear young guys like that pledging to help others, to support each other and the people who live around them was really humbling.”