Great Wall challenge nets Dave £4k for charity

Vincents hails fundraising efforts

More than £4,000 has been donated to St John’s Hospice in Lancaster thanks to the efforts of a local fundraiser. Dave Nichols did odd jobs, car boot sales, a muddy challenge, and walked six days along the Great Wall of China with a team from the hospice, to smash his initial fundraising target of £3,500.

Sponsored and kitted out by Lancashire law firm Vincents Solicitors, 35-year-old Dave covered more than 60 miles of the Great Wall as part of a team of 31 who, between them, raised around £95,000 for the charity. He now has the fundraising bug and is already planning to join the hospice team on its next trip to Machu Picchu in Peru.

Dave, who grew up in Garstang and now lives in Lancaster, said: “The China trip was an amazing experience and the team was great, we really bonded and I feel I have made friends for life. The Great Wall is magnificent and we found the local people to be lovely and welcoming, especially those with whom we shared meals along the route.

“I have been blown away by the support I’ve received from everyone for my fundraising challenge. I thought my target was a little steep to start with, but in the end I’ve been able to give just over £4,000 to a fantastic charity which does such amazing work in my community, I can’t wait to do it all again.”

The fundraiser was one of the most successful single events in the history of the charity, which provides palliative care, respite support and counselling services for terminally ill people and their families. Helen Soutar from St Johns said: “Every member of the team did a fantastic job, and we’re so grateful for all that they have done for us. It was great to get to know Dave during the trip. Some parts of the walk were pretty tricky, and Dave was among those to help out others along the way. His £4,000 will go a long way to helping the hospice to provide vital services in the coming year. We can’t thank him and his supporters enough.”

Dave took on the challenge in memory of those friends and colleagues who have suffered from cancer, including family friend Sue Headon who received care and passed away at St John’s in 2009. Dave’s mum Lesley Nichols works for Vincents Solicitors in the firm’s Garstang office and was delighted that the business was so happy to support his effort.

She said: “I’m so proud of him, not only for completing the trek, but also for everything else he did to reach that total. He put in a lot of hard work and it’s so satisfying to see it all paid off in the end. I was bowled over by the support from my colleagues for him and so thankful to the business for the donation and clothing, it was a comfort knowing that he was properly kitted-out.”