Laura and Ellen Knowles

If you’re looking for a challenge in 2020 then a Whittington charity may have the answer.

St Giles Hospice is invited people to take part in fundraising treks and trails.

The charity have a number of events planned across the UK and other parts of the world designed to be suitable for people of different levels of fitness.

Among those who have previously put on their walking boots are Ellen and Laura Knowles who took part in an overnight trek at Mount Snowdon last August.

They raised more than £5,600 in memory of their father who was cared for by St Giles Hospice.

Ellen said:

“Every time I look to the stars I think of dad and my children do the same. Dad was one of life’s rare diamonds. That’s why trekking up Snowdon through the night on my birthday was so special.

“Reaching the summit was beautiful – something I’d definitely recommend doing. It was grueling but, because we were a team of very close family and friends all doing it for our dads, we kept each other going.”

Ellen Knowles

Ellen and Laura’s dad Alf Knowles was diagnosed with lung cancer in September 2016.

In the weeks before Alf died he was surrounded by family and friends who decided to take part in Trekfest – a 25km walk over the Brecon Beacons – in his memory.

Since then an ambitious team of fundraisers led by Alf’s daughters has taken part in 12 different events, raising £33,600.

“St Giles was like a home from home”

“I’ll never forget Dad’s words when he was told he had lung cancer. He said ‘I’ve had 69 years, that’s a good innings’.

“He’d just been given a death sentence and there he was being selfless, trying not to upset us. That was typical of dad – he was one in a million.

“He would have been so proud of what we’ve achieved and it’s great to think that more people will get the same end of life care as dad because of it.

“St Giles was like a home from home – I’ll never forget the day staff got him a pint of Guinness and streamed the Aston Villa match for him to watch with his friends.

“They were amazing and giving something back by doing all these fundraising events has really helped us come to terms with his loss.”

Ellen Knowles

Treks planned for 2020 include:

  • Snowdon at Night – 13th to 14th June
  • Three Peaks Weekend – 10th to 12th July
  • Wales End-to-End Cycle Challenge – 13th to 16th August
  • Trekfest – The Beacons – 19th to 20th September
  • Northern Lights Trek in Iceland – 10th to 14th March 2021

“Make a real difference”

Zoe Wright, senior events coordinator at St Giles Hospice, said:

“People like Ellen and Laura are a real inspiration – their efforts help us to raise the £10million we need each year to provide our services and we’d like to thank everyone who joins Team St Giles to make a real difference to local people living with a potentially terminal illness and their families.

“If you join one of our treks and trails we will be encouraging you every step of the way and supporting you with your fundraising, giving you all the motivation you need.

“We have a variety of different treks and trails to choose from so there is something achievable for everyone.”

Zoe Wright, St Giles Hospice

For more details on the treks visit

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