Challenger of the month

Every month we celebrate a person or team who has gone above and beyond in their fundraising efforts for Shooting Star Children’s Hospices. It’s not always about who has run the fastest or the furthest or longest. We aim to celebrate people who have pushed themselves out of their comfort zones, and done something that has been a real challenge for them.

Our Challengers of the Month for July 2019 are…

Iain Armitage & friends – 6 x 3 Challenge

Continuing his passion for sports, challenges and raising money for causes close to his heart, Iain Armitage, along with seven friends decided to take on a bike ride with a difference – riding across six countries in just three days, raising money for Shooting Star Children’s Hospices.

The challenge would encompass 420km of cycling – including 8km of vertical climbing and an ascent of the legendary Stelvio Pass in Italy. Iain explains, “Our team of eight intrepid MAMILs stood on the start line and wondered if we may have bitten off more than we could chew! But not a bit of it!”

The team began in Italy, and rode through Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Austria, and Germany, with their last pedal stroke taking them into France.

“We encountered 30 degree Celsius temperature swings, golf ball sized hailstones and the occasional irate Swiss van driver, despite this we successfully completed our challenge on time and in one piece, raising over £15,000 for Shooting Star Children’s Hospices.”

Iain is a stalwart supporter of Shooting Star Children’s Hospices, and last year, was recognised in the Queen’s Honours list with an MBE for his extraordinary achievements in supporting the children’s hospice charity. He first became involved when he experienced first-hand the support provided by Shooting Star Children’s Hospices. Iain and his wife Charis’ son Lachlan, had an extremely rare genetic disease called Tay Sachs. Following Lachlan’s diagnosis the couple were introduced to our Guildford hospice, Christopher’s. On the day before Lachlan’s third birthday, while surrounded by family, friends and his favourite toys, Lachlan passed away peacefully.

Since Iain’s involvement in 2006, he has helped to raise hundreds of thousands by hosting incredible fundraising events for the charity. Including numerous cycle rides and epic swimming challenges with work colleagues and friends all across the country and Europe. In 2014, Iain and his family raised funds to celebrate what would have been Lachlan’s 10th birthday year. The family fun day attracted hundreds of people and during the year an unbelievable £100,000 was raised in celebration of Lachlan.

And of his most recent cycling challenge, Iain said, “This was our toughest challenge to date, but also one of the most awe inspiring given the dramatic Alpine views and ever-changing landscapes that we swept past, driven along at all times by the inspirational work of Shooting Star Children’s Hospices. The hardest part of our challenge was always going to be how we topped this and so planning for our 2020 mission is already well on the way!”

Has Iain and his friends made you wheelie want to take on your own challenge? Why not take a look at our events calendar to see what exciting things are coming up that you can get involved in! You can also read more about families we support here