Romford daughter takes on 12-hour trekking challenge in dad's memory

Laura Butler

Laura wearing her Saint Francis Hospice t-shirt. - Credit: Laura Butler

A daughter will take on a 24-mile hike across Yorkshire’s peaks in aid of a charity which helped her and her family cope with the loss of her father last year.  

Laura Butler is set to take on the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge on August 14 in aid of Saint Francis Hospice.  

By signing up to the task, Laura has pledged to raise a minimum of £250 in sponsorship. 

The challenge will see Laura climbing up to 5,000 feet in one day as she crosses “rocky terrain” in the trekking challenge that aims to summit Pen-y-ghent (694m), Whernside (736m) and Ingleborough (723m) in less than 12 hours. 

Laura’s dad Denis, who lived in Romford, was under the care of the hospice for a “few days” before he died in July 2020.  

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A woman called Julie was the first employee from the hospice's home team to arrive at their family home, Laura recalled.

She said: “Julie was just unbelievable – she was only with us for two days and she made us all feel so safe. 

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“We had so much trust in her. We had never been in this situation before and she helped us to understand what was happening with dad and what to expect. 

“She even stayed with us after her shift ended because she didn’t want to leave us on our own - I think that is just amazing.”  

Laura with her dad Denis on a helicopter ride.

Laura with her dad Denis on a helicopter ride. - Credit: Laura Butler

Another staff member from the hospice named Andy took over from Julie; Laura said she was also “great”.  

She was with Laura’s family for a few hours before Denis passed in the night, but Laura said that she stayed overtime to help him dress and lend a hand with the paperwork, waiting until the funeral directors arrived.  

Laura said: “These ladies may have had kids waiting for them, be a wife or have had plans, but they made us their priority. 

“What they did for my dad and our family, means so much to us. 

“Climbing three peaks in Yorkshire is the least I can do to support the hospice for all that they have done for our family. 

“My dad’s motto was ‘never give up’ and that’s going to keep me going through this trek when it gets tough and my legs and feet get sore.” 

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