Peak performers

From Warrington to Stockport the support for Francis House reaches far and wide.

Group outside pub wearing Francis House tee shirts.

The Hesketh pub team raised £2,000.

As children’s hospices face a number of uphill challenges when it comes to funding, a group of pub regulars from The Hesketh, Cheadle Hulme, and staff from software company Ivanti in Daresbury were among more than 130 walkers who braved the wet and windy weather to tackle the 13.6 mile Cheshire Three Peaks challenge.

We caught up with Chris Syddall and David Crookes who championed support from friends, family and colleagues, and between them helped to raise more than £3,200 to help towards the £12,900 a day hospice running costs.

A family affair

Company director Chris Syddall, from Cheadle Hulme had his own reasons why he wanted to support the hospice after his son Max was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2012.

Fortunately, the tumour was benign, but following the scare Chris, threw himself into fundraising for charity and in 2013 he ran the London Marathon.

Three walkers in the cloud and rain in Cheshire

Chris Syddall with daughter Rachael and son Max Syddall at the Cheshire Three Peaks challenge.

“I’m the guy at the pub who rallies everyone to take part, telling them what they’re doing and when. Friends and regulars at The Hesketh are all great sports and we made a day of it, meeting in the pub car park and car sharing to Tegg’s Nose Visitor Centre.

“The Cheshire Three Peaks challenge is so well organised by Francis House it really is a great day. Max and my daughter Rachael came too which made it a real family affair. The last forty minutes we were hit by torrential rain and it is a long walk of over 5 hours – but then it wouldn’t be a challenge otherwise,” said Chris.

Working together

Ivanti global development operations director, David, wife Jane and young family tackled the 6.5 mile shorter route and claimed victory in the Scavenger Hunt.

David said: “Francis House is a very worthy charity and relies heavily on community support. I feel so proud to be involved in something that really makes a difference and to see the charity support grow with colleagues, friends and family contributing in different ways is simply amazing.”

Charity champion David also set up an office-based collection point for donations to the charity shop in Burnage as well as a staff volunteering rota.

Man holding bags of charity donations

David Crookes sorting donations in the Burnage charity shop.

David added: “I felt great to get involved in a totally different environment and make a difference. The other regular shop volunteers made me feel super welcome and it was extremely rewarding to see our donations being sorted, displayed and creating value for this great cause.”

Francis House supports approximately 500 families from more than 30 Clinical Commissioning Groups including north Manchester, Oldham, Bury, Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale, Tameside and Glossop, Manchester, Salford, Trafford, Cheshire and Stockport.

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