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Head Chef gets on his bike in memory of hotel manager

The 41-year-old Crawley resident is gearing up for the Hit the Downs off-road challenge , raising money for two great causes.

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Executive Head Chef of the Arora Hotel Gatwick/Crawley, Tony Staples, is getting on his bike for a good cause, and his team are right behind him!

The 41-year-old Crawley resident and father of two is gearing up for the Hit the Downs off-road challenge on Sunday, May 6. As well as raising money for Sussex charity, Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice, Tony’s fundraising efforts will go towards the Royal Marsden Hospital, in memory of Bruno Delrieux, who managed the Arora Hotel Gatwick/Crawley for over 10 years, until recently.

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“Bruno was a genuinely nice bloke and everyone in the hotel loved working for him and all miss him very much,” said Tony. “I wanted to do this bike challenge in his memory and no matter how tough the ride gets, I will keep going, as it will never be as hard as fighting cancer.”

The chef, who did his catering qualifications at Crawley College, has been in training for several months ready for the 60km ride, doing cage fit exercise, box fit, and regular weight training sessions in the hotel’s own gym, Inspire Fitness. Every day he rides his bike to work at the luxury hotel where he heads up a team of chefs, creating dishes for conferences, banquets, the Arora’s two bars and internet café, as well as The Grill, the town’s only AA-rosette restaurant.

Visit Tony’s JustGiving page on www.justgiving.com/fundraising/tony-staples2

The Arora Group, which manages and operates the hotel, will also be fundraising on behalf of the Royal Marsden Hospital and Macmillan Cancer Support later this year at its bi-annual Arora Ball event, held at InterContinental London – The O2.

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Charity

Brighton Marathon runners ‘on track’ to raise £80k for Chestnut Tree House

Around 12,000 people ran in this year’s Brighton Marathon, many running for various charities. Many ran for West Sussex based charity, Chestnut Tree House & are set to raise an incredible £80k!

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Two Brighton Marathon runners, raising money for Chestnut Tree House. Photo: Matt Pitts

A total of 199 people took part in the Brighton Marathon and BM10k for Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice on Sunday 15 April, and are set to raise a staggering £80,000 for the charity.

Runners from across Sussex and further afield set out from Preston Park on Sunday morning, and were supported by volunteer cheer teams along the route. 97 people ran in the 10k race for Chestnut Tree House and 102 took on the 26.2 mile course.

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The first runner to complete the Brighton Marathon 2018 for Chestnut Tree House was 48 year-old George Miller from Steyning, who ran the course in 3:18:38. It was a double success for George on Sunday, as not only did the first-time marathon runner beat his target time of 3:30, but he raised an incredible £1,120 – smashing his £750 fundraising target!

George Miller finished in a fantastic 3:18:38.

George said he was very proud to be able to represent Chestnut Tree House and is inspired by the amazing work they do for children and young people with life-shortening conditions and their families throughout Sussex.

First time marathon runner, Jaimey Willett. Photo: Matt Pitts

Other Brighton Marathon runners in Team Chestnut included Steve Bird, 39, from Burgess Hill, who ran it in 3:26:28; Chestnut Tree House Trustee, David Pegler, 50, who ran a personal best of 3:35:14; first-time marathon runner Jaimey Willett, 37, from Chichester (4:18:53); and Lee Kemp, who is already planning to run his fourth Brighton Marathon next year.

Lee, 35, said:

“When I visited Chestnut Tree House, I was moved by the care services they offer and inspired by the incredible work they do. The care they provide to local children and families is so important – that’s what I run for.

Lee Kemp is planning to run his fourth Brighton Marathon next year. Photo: Matt Pitts

“I was aiming for under four hours so am delighted with my time of 3:58:19. This was the third time I’ve run the Brighton Marathon for Chestnut Tree House, and I’m already planning to come back next year! The support around the course from the charity really helps encourage me, so I’d like to thank all the volunteers who came out to cheer us all on.”

In the BM10k race, 41 year-old Steve Allen was the first across the finish line for the charity with a time of 38:57.

All runners for Chestnut Tree House were given a warm post-race welcome at the charity’s tent in the Event Village, where they could meet some of the team, refuel, and recover with a complimentary massage from Niki Harrington of Symbiosis.

Steve Bird & his daughter, Amber.

Lauren Gowing, Events Fundraiser at Chestnut Tree House said:

“The event went really well and it was great to meet our runners and congratulate them on their achievement. We feel privileged that so many people chose to run for us. It’s wonderful to see the familiar faces of runners who have supported us for some time, but equally inspiring to meet people who have chosen to support Chestnut Tree House for the first time this year.

“We need to raise £6,850 every day to cover the cost of all Chestnut Tree House’s care services, both at the hospice and in families’ own homes. The £80,000 raised by our Brighton Marathon and BM10k runners will cover our care costs for over 11 days, which is incredible. Ultimately, support like this helps us to continue helping life-limited children across Sussex and South East Hampshire.

“We’d like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone who ran for us, as well as our supporters and volunteers who helped on the day. Thanks too to the Brighton Mini Club for showing their support during the cavalcade, Symbiosis for offering complimentary massages, and South Downs Water for donating water to our runners.”

Chestnut Tree House will soon have places available for next year’s Brighton Marathon on Sunday 14 April 2019. To find out more visit www.chestnut-tree-house.org.uk/brightonmarathon.

Some of the people running for Chestnut Tree House, pre-race.

Chestnut Tree House opened its doors in 2003 and currently provides care and support to 300 children with life-shortening conditions and their families across Sussex and South East Hampshire – at the hospice and in families’ own homes. The cost of providing this vital service is over £3.5 million per year, yet the hospice receives less than 7% central government funding so relies heavily on the generosity and support of the local community and events like the Brighton Marathon to continue providing vital care to children and families.

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