Four friends from Hitchin find fitness fundraiser far exceeds original expectations

Richard Whitehead, Tony Sloan, Chris Large and Paddy Stanton.

Richard Whitehead, Tony Sloan, Chris Large and Paddy Stanton. - Credit: Archant

Four Hitchin friends who lined up to tackle a half-marathon in Liverpool have smashed the fundraising target they set as they hit the road to support a children’s bereavement charity.

Paddy Stanton, Chris Large, Richard Whitehead and Tony Sloan were inspired to run for Stand-by-me Children’s Bereavement Support by Paddy’s wife Karen, who volunteers for the charity.

Karen said: “I’ve seen first-hand the difference Stand-by-Me can make to bereaved young people and their families.

“Sometimes just knowing they are not alone at such a difficult time can have a huge impact on their emotional wellbeing.

“It’s the kindness of people like Paddy, Tony, Chris and Richard who dedicate themselves to raising funds, and the generosity of all those who support them and us as a charity, which make it possible to provide this much needed service.

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“We are hugely grateful to everyone involved – including First Image Digital Printing and Embroidery who printed the T-shirts for them.”

The original target was to raise £1,000 but the fit foursome have far exceeded their hopes and look set to collect around £1,500 – as Karen added: “Not bad for four old boys out to keep fit!”

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The charity’s Caroline Markovitch said: “Every penny they raise will go towards helping even more bereaved children and young people in Hitchin and North Herts.”

Stand-by-me offers group support for bereaved children, young people and their families in the area.

Their next six-week programme of meetings is due to start at the end of April.

For more information call the free telephone helpline 0800 0116 115. You can also visit if you’re interested in volunteering or learning more about their services.

And it’s not too late to donate to support the quartet’s efforts – visit and search Tony Sloan.

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