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Fundraisers pull in £13,500 for hospice in memory of late Wolverhampton MP

An 18-strong group of friends who united for a daring 140-mile charity trek have pulled in £13,500.

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The Lord Bilston Big Challenge: Carry the Load’ took place in July

Brendon Turner and his supportive pals gathered the cash pot for Compton Care after braving the gruelling challenge in memory of his late father Lord Bilston Dennis Turner.

The Wolverhampton-based charity's nurse specialist Debbie Smith and marketing manager Grace Lee were transported on the back of a tandem, on a stretcher and in a canoe during the 25.5-hour fundraiser.

More than 100 patients supported by the Compton Road West hospice will now be visited in their homes by nursing staff thanks to the money.

Ms Lee said: "This is a truly incredible amount which will change the lives of so many local people. This amount will fund the equivalent of 119 patients receiving personal care and support in their own homes.

"We simply would not exist were it not for groups of people like this who choose to give up their time and their money to ensure that local people who are living with incurable conditions are able to access the care and support they need and deserve.”

The Lord Bilston Big Challenge: Carry the Load’ took place in July

It was the third time Mr Turner raised cash in honour of his father, who was cared for by the hospice after his cancer diagnosis in 2014.

The former Labour MP for Wolverhampton South East died aged 71 in February 2015.

Fundraisers celebrated their feat during a special event at Wolverhampton Lawn Tennis and Squash Club last month.

Ms Lee added: "Since starting their fundraising journey in 2014 the dedicated group have raised over £77,000 for Compton.

“We cannot thank the challenge team enough for what they have done for our Compton."

Fundraisers cycled from Swansea carrying the Compton Care staff in a trailer attached to the back of a tandem in July.

An eight-mile hike followed, which saw the pair carried on a stretcher, on the tandem, and then in the back of a canoe down the River Wye.

Fundraisers then got back on their bicycles as they pedalled from Hay-on-Wye, Wales, to Wolverhampton as part of the challenge dubbed ‘The Lord Bilston Big Challenge: Carry the Load’ in July.

Compton Care, formerly Compton Hospice, supports people living with a complex, long term or incurable condition across the Black Country, Staffordshire and Shropshire.