SMD raising donations for Julia’s House

Our chosen charity for 2018

Our chosen charity this year is Julia’s House, the Dorset children’s hospice which helps children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions and their families.

The hospice provides practical and emotional support, frequent respite care for children and support for their families at home and in the community.

We are hoping to emulate the £2,000-plus we raised last year through a series of events taking place this summer.

And there is plenty of opportunity for everyone to get involved by taking part or simply offering a donation to this very worthy cause.

Please just remember this link:

More details below.



What Julia’s House does

The Julia’s House hospices in Springdale Road, Corfe Mullen, Dorset and Devizes, Wiltshire are the only children’s hospices situated in the two counties dedicated to providing life-changing support to help families from diagnosis through to the end of a child’s life.

The charity is almost entirely community funded and would not be able to run its vital services without the ongoing help and generosity of the public.

Julia’s House provides day and occasional overnight care in a safe and homely environment for children – this gives parents time out with their partners, their other children or simply a chance to catch up with day-to-day tasks, safe in the knowledge their child is being looked after by people they know and trust.

Specialist activity and play sessions and even sleepovers are a wonderful way to enable every child to have an enjoyable experience at the hospice – with care planned around the individual child’s needs with the emphasis on having fun.

Almost 65 per cent of respite care carried out by Julia’s House is in the community – supporting families in their own homes. Roles include helping with transport for poorly children and giving parents a well-deserved break for a few hours

Nurses and carers organise trips and attend events in the community too, providing respite care for children wherever it is needed, enabling families to enjoy some of the simple pleasures others take for granted.

Julia’s House works closely with hospitals and health professionals on neonatal care to make sure parents of babies born with a serious medical complication or condition are aware of the services the hospice offers.

The hospice is also actively involved in transitions support, helping young people move into adult care at the age of 18.

The hospice’s family support programme enables family members to participate in carefully planned regular social events, including barbeques, parties, shopping trips and even quad biking.

Julia’s House has a number of celebrity patrons, including actors Martin Clunes, Nigel Havers and Rupert Everett, Cherries boss Eddie Howe, film director Guy Ritchie, fashion designer Jasper Conran, former football boss Harry Redknapp, comedienne Debra Stevenson, author Minette Walters, chef Lesley Waters and athlete Liz Yelling.



How SMD is fundraising

This is what we will be doing to boost our chosen charity in 2018:


Sunday, June 10, Jurassic Coast Trek

This is a challenging 13- or 26-mile trek along Dorset’s stunning coastline on the UK’s first natural UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The 26-mile trek will set off from the beautiful horseshoe bay of Lulworth Cove and follows the rugged coastline with some serious climbs and descents, providing breath-taking views and dramatic cliff top vistas.

The 13-mile trek joins at picturesque Worth Matravers and follows one of the most scenic sections of the South West Coast Path. Both treks end at Studland.

If all trekkers raised a minimum of £200 it would pay for seven hours care for a poorly child, and respite for an exhausted mum or dad.


It was an early start for Thom, Keith, Scott and Matt who took on the 26-mile hike having to be at the start line for 7:30am.  The first few miles saw some extremely steep hills which made many participants question what they had signed up for!  For the SMD foursome, it was merely a good warm up as they strode to the front of the field. The hike is not billed as a race, but the competitiveness started to take hold as they were leading at the half-way point (only beaten by three joggers). Matt Willan dropped back as the terrain took its toll and the pace of the quick-stepping trio saw Matt taking it at his own pace.

At mile 16 all the staff came together with the 13-mile walkers being a few miles into the hike. Rather than stopping for a rest, the SMD 26-mile walkers grabbed what they could from the food station and carried on whilst the 13-mile team took on some calories and enjoying some ice cream!  

Fatigue set in around 24 miles as a big climb out of Swanage meant legs, ankles and knees where starting to hurt. 

Crossing the line in an impressive 8hrs 30mins, Thom ran to the front of the group to take fourth place overall, closely finished by Keith and Scott.  It wasn’t long for the 13-mile hikers to cross the line in just under 4hours 40mins. Matt looked a broken man as he approached the finish line and was very happy be passed a hog roast and a pint.

Well done to everyone who took part, a very tough day indeed! 


Sunday, July 8, The Big Ride

This is a challenging yet breath-taking 100-mile or 50-mile cycle ride through Dorset and Wiltshire’s spectacular countryside.

Starting from the magnificent and picturesque grounds of the Larmer Tree Gardens at Tollard Royal on the border of the two counties, there are two circular routes consisting of undulating roads, challenging hill sections and breath-taking views over Salisbury plain and Cranborne Chase.


Saturday, November 10, Commando Course

This is a 6km or 12km course complete with 21 of the toughest obstacles straight out of the Commando text book, which recreates the mud, sweat and pain of modern day Royal Marines Commando training.

The gruelling endurance event takes place at Hever Castle, Kent, the childhood home of Anne Boleyn and includes obstacles such as tunnels, wires, slopes and drops.

There is much more to come with plenty of other events planned this year with all money raised going to this great charity.



How we have already helped

Last year teams of cyclists and walkers took part in gruelling challenges – as well as holding other in-office fundraising days – and raised an incredible £2,000 for the hospice.

Energetic foursome Dan Williams, Ben Pratten, Joe Baker and Rich Hydes participated in the Hospice to Hospice Cycle, from Julia’s House in Corfe Mullen to the charity’s newly-refurbished Wiltshire hospice at Devizes.

And a larger team of staff took the 26-mile Jurassic CoastTrek from Lulworth Cove to Studland along Dorset’s stunning Unesco World Heritage Coast, completing the route in just under nine hours. They included Thomas Rigden, Philip McGeehan, Tracey Tynan, Keith Grange, Rosie Sharp, Jamie Turner, Jon Fleetwood and Ben Pratten.



Thank you in advance for any donations given!

Sunday, June 10, Jurassic Coast Trek 2018