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Meet the fundraisers: How Archie and Rosie took on a unique challenge for Grandad Steve

Steve Pratt was a true family man, never happier than when he was surrounded by his loved ones and friends, ideally with football nearby and a pint in hand.

Grandad to Archie and Rosie Whatmore, he died in February 2021 following a two year battle with lung cancer, and the children were determined to do something special in his memory, to raise money both for Weldmar Hospicecare and Steve’s beloved Charmouth FC.

11 year old Archie says, “We decided to walk up Stonebarrow Hill 65 times, one for every year of our Grandad’s life. We started it in April and had to do it about three times a week, and finish it before 28th September, which would have been his 66th birthday.”

Rosie, who is 8, says, “We wanted to climb Stonebarrow because he liked to see the view of it from his window. At the start I found it quite hard, but as we did it more and more, I found it a bit easier.”

They often completed the walks with family members and friends, and many of them came out to give them a hero’s welcome at the summit on their final walk (pictured below).

Mum Vicky says, “We are incredibly proud of Archie and Rosie for their tenacity and dedication shown in completing their challenge. 65 walks was certainly a daunting prospect, especially after they had completed the first few and realised what was ahead of them, but they rose to it and enjoyed spending time with friends and family, talking about their memories of Grandad and having lots of fun in the process. So many people have said to them ‘Grandad would be so proud!’ and they are absolutely right.”

Vicky says that when dad Steve was referred to Weldmar, the charity were there for the whole family. “Anything that we needed, we knew that Weldmar would be able to help us with, including advice, access to care and equipment and a listening ear. They guided us through each stage, so that as he became increasingly unwell we understood what was happening, what we needed to do and what should happen next. This enabled us to keep him at home with us, where he wanted to be, especially in the middle of the pandemic.”

“I remember friendly faces and kind, supportive words also a sense of reassurance that there was someone looking after us all. We are so thankful of the support that they gave to him and to his wife Maggie, my brother Kevin and myself.”

Setting out to initially raise a total of £650 for the two good causes (£10 for each walk), Archie and Rosie’s fundraising efforts saw them raise just over two thousand pounds each for Weldmar Hospicecare and Charmouth FC!

Rosie says, “I feel that we’ve done a massive thing that means a lot to us.”

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