On Friday 22 April, Wimbledon saw local business Directors retire from their desks to become “campmates” in an “I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here” - style fundraising event.

The Hospice turned Wimbledon’s Old Ruts Rugby Club into their very own jungle for the day, with Team Red and Team Blue going head-to-head in a curated programme of hilarious and stomach-churning challenges. Our very own Joint CEO, Nick Stevens, has also been fundraising for the event, swapping his office for a frightening position on the red team.

The day opened with a warm welcome from the our Fundraising Team, easing the teams into their first challenge – a two-lane inflatable bungee run. The remainder of the challenges were not for the faint-hearted, including a series of trivia questions fired whilst holding snakes, frogs and fearsome creepy crawlies. A recreation of ITV’s infamous “Diner” challenge was quite literally on the table, where chefs presented each team member with a five-course meal including fish eyes, lamb tongue and fermented egg-spresso martinis.

After a gruelling day filled with equal parts of laughter and cheer, the winning team was Team Red. In the build up to the day, each participant encouraged their communities to support them in raising individual funds. Despite the red team winning the day, Team Blue’s Daren Gittins, from Elys Wimbledon (Morley’s Group) took home the crown as King of the Jungle – raising an outstanding amount of £1,868 for the Hospice (and counting!).

King of the Jungle!

Daren Gittins:

“What a fantastic experience. The challenges were more extreme than I thought they would be and it was really fun watching both teams work together to get through it.

I wanted to try raise as much money as I could for the Hospice and would absolutely fundraise again for St Raphael’s.”

Our Director of Income Generation, Sara Jane Woods, thanked everyone for their encouragement and support of the Hospice.

“Many of you who have taken part today have personal experience of our care and know that we strive to put the exceptional into every day. Our Hospice needs to raise at least £4.5 million each year to care for those with life-limiting illness and their loved ones in Merton and Sutton. The funds raised today will continue to help us do that.”

The focus of hospice care is to enable the individual and their family to live each day in their best way, with the assurance that there is an expert team to support them manage both physical and emotional symptoms.

We raised over £16,000 so far, enabling the continuation of expert palliative and end-of-life care which is needed by 1 in 4 people in Merton and Sutton.