John o' Groats to Land's End cyclist Sam Faulkner guest of honour at tea party for Isabel Hospice
Isabel Hospice received a vital cash boost in the picturesque gardens of the charity's life president.
Barbara Doherty MBE hosted a sumptuous tea party at the home she shares with husband Neil in Much Hadham and invited friends and supporters of the charity, along with special guest Sam Faulkner, of High Wych, who raised £5,000 by cycling the breadth of Britain .
The 25-year-old former Leventhorpe schoolboy completed the 1,000-mile ride from John o' Groats to Land's End in 10 days after hearing that his best friend's mum, Lesley Clark, was battling breast cancer and receiving support from the hospice through its support service at the St Barnabas Centre in Thorley.
Sam's proud mother Liz and the other invitees heard all about his epic challenge, while Liz spoke of the work the hospice does at its Thorley Living Well Centre.
Barbara spoke to guests in a little more detail about the hospice, including the difficulties it faces in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.
While lockdown was eased, fundraisers organised socially distanced get-togethers in gardens to generate money, but since the 'rule of six' came into effect on Monday, gatherings of seven or more people have now been banned. The hospice faces an even tougher challenge as large-scale events have been put on hold for now, but the team continue to come up with innovative ways to fund its work.
At Barbara's party, a delicious afternoon tea was provided by Clavering-based Anna Shutes Catering, and entertainment came in the form of The Tailored Tenors, a duo of West End performers Chris Thatcher and Mathew Clarke.
The afternoon raised £3,500, which will be used to care for patients and provide extra equipment at the Thorley Living Well Centre, where Lesley receives her support.