Hiking for hampers challenge


Summer is here and the festive season may seem a long way off but for one Rockinghorse supporter, Christmas is a top priority…

Debbie Sheridan took part in the London2Brighton challenge and hiked 100km to raise funds for ‘Aidan’s Christmas Dinner Project’. Debbie was joined by her mum Jeannette (pictured above) for the epic challenge which saw them trek the journey from London to Brighton throughout the day and night on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 May.

Aidan’s Christmas Dinner Project was set up in 2014 by parents Lucy and Simon Pond in memory of their son Aidan Pond, who sadly died on 1 March 2014 at just 18 months old. Aidan was diagnosed with Mitochondrial disease – a rare genetic condition – age one. In December 2013, Aidan was unable to leave hospital for Christmas and since then they have been driven to fund a Christmas dinner for all future families who find themselves spending time at the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital (the Alex) at Christmas.

The first year of the project saw Lucy and Simon raise funds for 39 hampers, which we helped deliver to families at the Alex on Christmas Eve. Last year the number increased to an amazing 55 hampers, which meant that some were also delivered to families at the neighbouring Trevor Mann Baby Unit.

Debbie – a close mummy friend of Lucy’s – has raised an incredible £1,070 for Aidan’s Christmas Dinner Project by taking part in the London2Brighton challenge. We hope this amount will be able to fund most of the hampers needed this year, but of course, we can never be 100% sure how many families will be spending time at the Alex over Christmas.

Speaking the day after her challenge, Debbie said: “Having enjoyed the comfort of my duvet and sofa for the last 12 hours, I have come to appreciate how big our achievement was. My mum Jeannette said it was harder than any marathon she has done, and now she has achieved 60 plus miles at 60! It was hard going and quite humid conditions and I think we both agree that we don’t want to see another hill or stile for a while.

“It was by far the hardest thing I’ve ever done – the tiredness was at times overwhelming – but getting us through it were our friends and family. They sent texts and Facebook messages and we had a team of supporters stationed at Croydon, Tulleys Farm and Plumpton, which was key to us making it to the next rest point, and then on to the finish line.

“The wonderful generous people who have sponsored us have helped Lucy, Simon and Aidan’s Christmas Dinner Project raise enough money to fund most of the hampers for 2016! £80 of the money raised was by my gorgeous boys as part of the Brighton Chicken Run at Easter. Thank you to all who donated from the bottom of my heart.”

It is our aim to support Lucy Pond and the Aidan’s Christmas Dinner Project not only for this year, but every year going forward. To find out more about the project or to make a donation, please click here.

Back to news