A SEAFORD woman completed the Eastbourne Half Marathon at the weekend in in honour of Lady Sarah Clutton, who was instrumental in the building of Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice.

Julie Fannon, 47, used to work for the Angmering Park Estate Trust, which manages the land, near Arundel, that Chestnut Tree House is built on.

The land, at that time, was owned by Lady Sarah Clutton and she granted the charity a 125 year lease, asking only for a dozen lilies and a new pound coin on her birthday each year.

She also worked tirelessly to help raise the funds needed to build the hospice, which is celebrating its 15th birthday this year.

“It has been over 15 years since I worked for the Estate, but when I found out that Lady Sarah Clutton had died I wanted to do something in her memory,” says Julie.

She describes Lady Sarah Clutton as an inspirational woman whose passion for the hospice movement had a profound effect on her.

“I had always assumed that hospices, and end of life care, were provided and funded by the NHS, I had no idea that they were privately run and funded.”

As someone who could barely run for 30 seconds 18 months ago Julie has come a long way in order to complete the half marathon – which she did in 2 hours and 42 minutes.

“I’m over the moon to have completed my first Half Marathon. It was exhausting, but I really enjoyed the day and will definitely be booking another one. I remember that Lady Sarah always said that you shouldn’t give something up for Lent, you should give something back instead. Completing the Eastbourne Half during Lent and in her memory feels really fitting.”

Julie has also been using it as an opportunity to fundraise for Chestnut Tree House.

“Since finding out more about hospices and the huge task they have in raising the funds to operate I have always tried to do things for local hospices, and Chestnut Tree is extra special for me so I am happy to be able to support them.”

Anyone wishing to add to her fundraising total can do so at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/julie-fannon