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Gloucestershire Business News

Funeral director celebrates epic journey for hospice

A funeral director has revealed how he completed an epic 1,500 mile journey on foot, bike and water, inspired by the work of a Gloucestershire hospice.

Forty seven-year-old Cheltenham-based Julian Goodwin, spent 2018 completing a long list of running, cycling and swimming challenges to raise funds for the Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice.

Coming clean about his 12-month-long effort, and presenting the hospice with the thousands of pounds he has raised, Mr Goodwin said he had been inspired after seeing through his job how it supported local families with the expert palliative and bereavement care.

Through his tough training regime and fitness events across the country, Mr Goodwin estimated he covered 1,500 miles running, cycling or swimming for his local hospice.

He kicked off his yearlong challenge on the starting line of the London Marathon on Sunday, April 22, -one of the hottest days on record the event has been staged on - completing his challenge in five hours and 18 minutes and 19 seconds.

He followed this up on his bike with a 100 mile cycle ride in the iconic Ride London on  July 29, then a two-mile swim in open water of the Thames in Swim Serpentine on September 22. This trio of challenges led to Mr Goodwin completing one of the world's greatest sporting challenges, the London Classic, which has seen him listed in the London Classics Hall of Fame.

Not content he then cycled 130km in Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court's 30th anniversary Ride for Ryder on June 26, completed the Outlaw Half Ironman Triathlon in May and the Bolton Full Ironman Triathlon in July.

He also took on the Cheltenham Half Marathon on September 30 for Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice sporting an 'Iron Man' running suit in celebration of becoming an Iron Man himself.

In total he raised £5,644.75 for Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice - enough to pay for 297 hours of specialist and compassionate care.

"What an epic year this has been for me, I have enjoyed the challenges so much and the money raised is amazing. I hope it makes a difference to everyone at the Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice," said Mr Goodwin, who has worked for Mason and Stokes in Cheltenham for the last eight years.

Before that he was with his own family funeral business, working with his father and grandmother. In September this year he will have reached his 30th year in Cheltenham looking after bereaved families.

"I have worked closely with Sue Ryder Leckhampton Court Hospice with my job for many years and I have always supported the hospice by attending Ride for Ryder and Starlight Hike. I have also had friends who have lost loved ones who were cared for by the hospice.

"The hospice is a lovely place and it's set in the most amazing grounds of the hills in Leckhampton. The care at Sue Ryder is brilliant, and we always hear wonderful reports from families who have had and lost loved ones in Sue Ryder."

Mr Goodwin started triathlons in 2013 with the CTC (Cheltenham Triathlon Club).

To donate towards Julian's fundraising total visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/julian-goodwin2. 

Alternatively sponsorship forms are available in the Mason and Stokes office, Tudor Lodge, 54 Hewlett Road, Cheltenham, GL52 6AH.

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