A FATHER whose son died in 2016 has spoken of his despair as he prepares to take on a hospice charity challenge.

Tom Underhill, 33, of Shoreham, has described how son Bobby was “born sleeping” on December 21.

He said: “We were all over the place after Bobby was born.

“Chestnut Tree House hospice came to see us at the hospital, explained all of our options and then provided a place for him to stay over Christmas.

“That gave us the opportunity to spend time with him and to do the things we needed to in order to say goodbye.

“Christmas Day is also my birthday and I really just wanted to see him so they opened up especially and allowed me to go and have a drink with my son.”

Now Tom is joining Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice in asking people to take on the South Coast Challenge and raise money for this charity.

The family has a special stone for Bobby in the memorial garden at Chestnut Tree House, which is near Arundel, and have attended a memorial event.

Tom said: “It was hard to go back to the house but it was also good to meet others in the same situation and to be able to talk about what happened.”

Tom took on the South Coast Challenge himself last year, choosing the 50km route along with his sister Kerry Underhill.

He said: “It wasn’t easy but I really enjoyed it.

“I was struggling at the halfway mark but got speaking to some other walkers and we made it to the end together.”

The South Coast Challenge takes place over the August Bank Holiday weekend, with some 2,000 people expected to take on their choice of a 23km quarter, 50km half or 100km full challenge.

It is open to both men and women, with those taking part encouraged to set their own pace; walking, jogging or running the distance.

It starts in Eastbourne and finishes in Arundel and is fully supported, with rest stops, food and drink available along the whole route.