Graham Newman

London Marathon runners & Davina’s head for heights

Pruce Newman MD returning from broken ankle to run London Marathon for EACH

The managing director of Wymondham’s Pruce Newman Pipework is aiming to raise £100 for every mile he runs at the London Marathon.

Graham Newman, 51, will be taking on the 26.2-mile challenge on 22 April for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) as part of his company’s commitment to raise £10,000 for the nook appeal.

He is also looking forward to exorcising some personal fitness demons. The father-of-three explained: “I ran several half marathons as a teenager until contracting ME at 19 and was then unable to exercise properly for the next 15 years or so.

“I started running again in my early forties to get fit and raise money for good causes, having lost close friends and family to cancer and motor neurone disease. I ran a half Marathon in 2009 and several 10k events between 2006 and 2015.

“In 2016, I decided to set myself a ‘fit for fifty’ challenge and entered an Olympic-distance triathlon close to my 50th birthday – the training for which included completing a half marathon, a 100k bike ride and a two-mile open water swim.

“In 2017, I entered a 10k race but twisted my ankle and fractured a bone the day before and had to pull out!

“I found that not only was I missing the challenge but my ever-expanding waistline was causing me concern, so I applied for the 2018 London Marathon with EACH.”

Graham lives in South Woodham Ferrers, near Chelmsford in Essex, with wife of 28 years Amanda. They have three sons, Ben, 26, Sam, 23, and Jake, 21.

He admits fitting in training to a busy lifestyle has been tougher than he expected, but remains dedicated to the cause.

“Our company has supported EACH as a charity for many years now and as a father of three sons, one of whom had been poorly for a year as a toddler with suspected cystic fibrosis – fortunately this wasn’t the case and he’s now fit and well – my admiration for the work carried out by EACH is never-ending. The company is committed to the nook appeal and I hope my efforts will help to see us massively surpass our £10k pledge.”

Pruce Newman is an engineering construction contracting company started by Graham’s father in 1970, and Graham has been part of the business for 32 years.

EACH cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Norfolk, as well as Cambridgeshire, Essex and Suffolk, and supports their families.

The nook appeal is its £10 million campaign to transform children’s palliative care across Norfolk by building a new hospice in Framingham Earl. Pruce Newman has been part of the nook business network that exists to support it since March 2017. The network sees companies committing to raise either £10,000, £15,000 or £25,000 in exchange for various benefits and support.

Graham is one of four runners with an EACH marathon place and will be joined in competing for the charity by others who obtained spots in the public ballot. To show support for Graham’s efforts go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/graham-newman6.

For more information about the nook appeal and business network go to www.each.org.uk/the-nook.

EACH fundraiser Stephen Eldridge, fiancée Odette Wood and their son, Callum

West Norfolk dad to run London Marathon in memory of baby son

A telecoms engineer from Dersingham who took up running just before Christmas will attempt the London Marathon in memory of his young son who sadly passed away of leukaemia.

Stephen Eldridge and fiancée Odette Wood welcomed Callum to the world on 4 October, 2012. He was born three weeks prematurely at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn.

The family were transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit at Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, where they received 24-hour one-to-one care for 11 days. It was there that they were also introduced to East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).

EACH took over Callum’s care, transferring him and his family to its hospice in Quidenham before Callum sadly passed away on 16 October.

Stephen said: “Our last night together at Quidenham was so precious and EACH cared for our every need, allowing us to say our goodbyes in the peacefulness of the hospice. We’re so thankful to all the wonderful, compassionate staff we encountered on our journey. They’re all truly amazing people.”

The family, now including three-year-old Harriet, set up an online legacy page in Callum’s name and have since raised more than £35,000 for EACH, with the majority of that coming from an annual golf day that brings together over 100 players each year.

Stephen is hoping to raise at least £2,000 when he runs the London Marathon on 22 April. He is running four times a week in preparation, with his only previous experience of endurance events “a few wild stag dos”.

“When I took on this challenge I had no idea how hard it was going to be,” he said. “I massively underestimated how far 26 miles is and the time and dedication needed for the long, cold, dark training. Not being a runner, I had no idea how complex it would be getting my body from zero miles to achieving and completing the London Marathon.”

Stephen is one of four runners with a place in the marathon for EACH and will be joined in competing for the charity by others who obtained spots in the public ballot. To show support for Stephen’s efforts go to https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/SomeoneSpecial/CallumEldridge.

EACH cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Norfolk, as well as Cambridgeshire, Essex and Suffolk, and supports their families.

Jude Taylor

Flamingo fun at London Marathon will also be poignant reminder of family’s beloved baby Jude

While David Taylor’s flamingo costume will be a fun addition to the London Marathon, it will also be a poignant symbol of the unimaginably tough time his family endured four years ago when they lost a beloved little boy.

Baby Jude was born on 2 April, 2014. David and wife Mary, from Mulbarton, had decided to give their son a chance, after a 20-week scan and subsequent investigations at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) revealed he had a rare condition known as hypoplastic left heart syndrome (HLHS), which effectively meant he had half a heart. Their options were to terminate the pregnancy, allow Jude to die naturally after birth or to undergo surgery in an attempt to save him.

Jude was born at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital by caesarean section. He was then taken to GOSH’s Flamingo Ward, home to the cardiac intensive care unit, and underwent open-heart surgery aged just five days. Due to swelling of his heart Jude’s chest had to be left open, but attempts to close it a week later saw him crash. He was put onto an extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machine – like a heart bypass machine – as a result.

David and Mary feared the worst when Jude’s surgeon told them he had only seen three babies with HLHS come off the machine successfully, but Jude pulled through.

The procedure to close his chest was carried out over a period of days, by his bedside as Jude was too ill to be moved, but sadly his condition deteriorated and Jude died in Mary’s arms on 28 April.

David said: “We miss Jude every second of every day. His courage and bravery are an inspiration.”

After his death Jude was taken to East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) in Quidenham, where he stayed for three weeks until his funeral.

David, 39, an Anglian Water technician, explained: “We got to spend some special time with Jude making hand and foot prints, holding him and creating memories we wouldn’t have had if it wasn’t for EACH. This was our time to say our goodbyes and it was also very important for Jude’s big brother, Ethan, to visit and create memories.

“It’s now four years on and not a day goes by when we don’t think about Jude and wonder what he’d look like or how he’d be. Through the support of EACH we go to a bereavement group once a month. Ethan, now eight, goes to a siblings group throughout the year, too, that he loves, and receives one-to-one support.

“EACH are truly an amazing charity who have helped us as a family. We really don’t know what we’d do without them. This is why I want to give something back to EACH.”

When David runs the London Marathon later this month it will be his second time covering the 26.2 miles, having done so before for GOSH in 2016. His family’s and friends’ fundraising over the last two years has seen over £26,000 collected for GOSH.

To show support for David, who will be running the marathon just six days before the fourth anniversary of his son’s death, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/David-Taylor156.

EACH cares for children and young people with life-threatening conditions across Norfolk, as well as Cambridgeshire, Essex and Suffolk, and supports their families.

EACH Davina Scales

Diss shop manager going to heady heights for charity

A Diss charity shop manager is to prove her dedication to the cause by jumping out of a plane at 13,000ft (3,962m).

Davina Scales has been in charge at East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) in Chapel Street for the last two years and will take part in the thrill-seeking experience of a lifetime to raise money for the charity’s nook appeal.

She said: “I must be mad! I’ve done gliding once before, but never anything quite like this. I was going to do it last year when I turned 60, but just didn’t get round to it. I’m looking forward to it anyway, with some nerves – obviously!”

Davina will be skydiving at Beccles Airfield on Sunday, 6 May. She will be one of a group jumping for EACH and there are still places available.

Those taking part will be securely harnessed to a tandem instructor as they free fall for 50 seconds at speeds in excess of 120mph (193kph) before floating back to ground whilst enjoying some spectacular views.

Participation can be secured by paying a £50 deposit, then £150 on the day and raising a minimum £100 sponsorship, or paying a £50 deposit, then raising at least £300 sponsorship and using half to pay on the day. Anyone unable to make the May session can sign up to jump on Sunday, 6 September. For more details, including how to book, go to www.each.org.uk.

To show your support for Davina, go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Davina-Scales. All sponsorship money will go to EACH as Davina’s husband has paid for the skydive as a birthday present.

The nook appeal is EACH’s campaign to raise £10 million for the building of a new hospice in Framingham Earl, helping to transform children’s palliative care across Norfolk. Foundations were dug out in November after the total hit £7 million. For more information visit www.each.org.uk/the-nook.

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