Pub regulars walk in memory of Poppy

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Around 50 customers at a pub in Wellingborough raised £5,000 for a hospice where the granddaughter of one of its regulars died.

A group of regulars from The Rising Sun pub took part in Wellingborough’s annual Waendel Walk on Sunday, May 13, to raise the cash.

The money was donated to Helen & Douglas House hospice in Oxford, where Rising Sun regular Diane Nelson’s granddaughter Poppy, aged three, died in December last year.

Poppy was diagnosed with terminal leukodystrophy on New Year’s Eve 2010 at the age of two and was given 12 months to live. Her condition was a degenerative brain disease.

Mrs Nelson said the staff at the hospice, where Poppy spent several weeks, were a lifeline and helped the family to cope during what was a very difficult time.

She said: “We could come and go from the hospice as we wanted, there was a bed in Poppy’s room we could sleep in if we wanted to.

“She went from being a normal two-year-old to a year later just laying on her bed not being able to eat or drink.

“The hospice is an essential charity, without it we wouldn’t have coped.

“The nurses still come to see us, which is nice.

“There’s on-going support for the family, which is important at times like these.”

The Rising Sun organises fundraisers for various local charities every year and it was decided that this year it would do something to raise cash for the Helen & Douglas House hospice in memory of Poppy.

The Rising Sun’s landlord and landlady Dot and Josh Joshi, as well as its regulars, have raised around £50,000 for local causes over the years.

Mrs Nelson said: “About 50 of us went and did the walk on the Sunday.

“We go to the pub, it’s a lovely place. I think the story touched a lot of people. Words escape us for how wonderful it was for everyone to do the walk for Poppy. It’s a good community pub and they do a lot for local charities.”

Poppy’s parents, who live in Northampton, have also been busy raising cash for the hospice.

Poppy’s dad Andy has just completed a climb of Mount Snowdon with colleagues and Poppy’s mum Kate is set to run the Birmingham half-marathon later this year.