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Sunday, 25 October 2020

CHARITY TODAY AWARDS

Over £13,000 raised for St Elizabeth Hospice after 200-mile coastal horse ride

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A 22-year-old woman has completed an epic 200-mile horse ride along the East Anglian coast in memory of her late father while fundraising for St Elizabeth Hospice.

After a week of riding along the region’s coastline, Georgie Veale and her 19-year-old, former show horse, Plum, have raised more than £13,000 for the independent Suffolk charity, who cared for her father Jonnie Veale when he passed away from cancer ten years ago.

Starting their journey from Eyke, Suffolk, on 5th September, Georgie and Plum were joined by her brother Edward and horse Peter, a retired police horse lent by their sponsors. While throughout the ride Georgie was also joined by her friend Lara Bell, her mother Sarah and Ben Ryder-Davies for further support.

Riding on average 20 miles-a-day, friends and family came out in support along the way, before they reached their destination at Holkham, in Norfolk, on 11th September.

Jonnie Veale, Georgie Veale, Sarah Veale and Edward Veale. Photograph credit: The Veale Family

Georgie said:

“It feels amazing, I can’t quite believe it has finished and everything went to plan. We were so lucky with the weather and I know Daddy was definitely looking down on us!

“When my brother and I hit Holkham beach we didn’t just have the adrenaline of finishing and seeing friends and family who were there to greet us, but we also had the overwhelming excitement of hitting £10,000 which just made the finish that much better!”

A keen horse rider, Georgie took inspiration for the epic challenge from her grandmother Angela Veale, who participated in a sponsored charity horse ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats in 1948.

Along their journey, Georgie and Plum stopped overnight at various stables to recuperate which were kindly offered by supporters en route.

The route saw the group ride past some of East Anglian’s iconic towns and landmarks, including Aldeburgh, Southwold lighthouse as well as seeing seals along the coast at Great Yarmouth, before reaching their destination on the stunning beaches of Holkham.

Georgie said:

“The ride was absolutely amazing albeit very tiring! Those who kindly offered us stables were all incredibly generous with their time and facilities, making our evening stops very enjoyable, so thank you to everyone who helped out along the way.

“As a family, we are especially touched by everyone’s donations and messages. We are overwhelmed by kind messages from those who knew Daddy and those who are supportive of the challenge and cause.”

Sarah Veale, Georgie’s mother, said:

“I am incredibly proud of Georgie and what she has achieved raising money for the hospice, which means so much to us after her father spent his last days there. It has involved a huge amount of organisation on her part and getting the horses fit over the summer too.

“It was wonderful to see her and her brother, Edward leaving the yard on Saturday morning and to see them riding together along Holkham beach at the end was very emotional too.”

Celia Joseph, Community Relationships Fundraising Manager, added:

“Many congratulations to Georgie, Plum and everyone involved in this fantastic achievement!

“It is fantastic to see the support that Georgie has had not only from family and friends but the local community as she has journeyed along the coast, we would like to thank them all and for helping Georgie achieve this incredible amount to support the hospice’s work.”

St Elizabeth Hospice is an independent Suffolk charity providing free services to improve life for people living with a progressive or life-limiting illness throughout Suffolk, including Great Yarmouth and Waveney where the hospice provides specialist palliative care services to the community in partnership with the social enterprise, East Coast Community Healthcare.

To donate towards Georgie Veale’s challenge please visit her JustGiving page.

To find out more about St Elizabeth Hospice call 01473 727776 or visit www.stelizabethhospice.org.uk.

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