Inspirational Derbyshire schoolgirl smashes fundraising target for hospice – almost 180 times over!

Ruby gets help from her sister Kitty with handing over the huge  cheque to Ashgate Hospicecare fundraiser Lynn Jones and Ashley Bear at her Longstone school.

Ruby gets help from her sister Kitty with handing over the huge cheque to Ashgate Hospicecare fundraiser Lynn Jones and Ashley Bear at her Longstone school.

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A big-hearted youngster who organised a unique charity walk in memory of her aunt has smashed her fundraising target – nearly 180 times over!

Little Ruby Pearce pledged to raise £80 for Ashgate Hospicecare with her Winter Walk – but the staggering total came in at £14,226.

Ruby and Kitty with the cheque.

Ruby and Kitty with the cheque.

Eight-year-old Ruby organised the huge fundraiser to thank the Chesterfield hospice, which cared for her aunt Julie Colton during the last few months of her life.

Julie had bravely battled a brain tumour for six years but died just three days before the walk at the end of January.

On Friday, Ruby handed over the cheque to representatives from Ashgate Hospicecare during a special presentation at her school, Longstone CE Primary.

Headteacher Gemma Harvey said: “We are incredibly proud of Ruby.

We are incredibly proud of Ruby

Gemma Harvey, headteacher of Longstone CE Primary

“She is an inspiration to all of the children at the school and has shown that truly great things can be achieved when you put your mind to it.

“She is a remarkably kind and caring girl and the community really got behind this event.”

Asghate Hospicecare thanked Ruby and everyone who took part in the fundraiser.

Ashley Bear, the charity’s mascot, gave a certificate of praise to proud Ruby.

Ruby, Kitty and their parents Gregg and Lauranne with Ashley Bear.

Ruby, Kitty and their parents Gregg and Lauranne with Ashley Bear.

The poignant timing of the walk touched so many that more than 200 people turned up for the start at Ashford-in-the-Water.

Ruby had described the event on flyers as suitable for small children and even lazy daddies – and fundraisers of all ages and abilities joined in the fun.

So many people turned up for the event, which started and finished at the Bull’s Head pub, they completely blocked the street.

Ruby’s mum Lauranne was thrilled at the success and said many used it as a chance to remember her sister.

Ruby is presented with a certificate to mark her fundraising efforts.

Ruby is presented with a certificate to mark her fundraising efforts.

Ruby walked alongside her five-year-old sister Kitty as well as Julie’s husband Chris and son James.

Lauranne said friends and family had been eager to show their thanks to staff at Ashgate Hospicecare.

Julie, who lived in Upper Newbold, was well-known in Chesterfield and worked at Solena Travel before taking up a finance role at Chesterfield College.

Ashgate Hospice, which is based on Ashgate Road, Old Brampton, provides care for terminally-ill people and their families across north Derbyshire, the Derbyshire Dales and High Peak.

The charity needs to raise £4.3million a year.

Visit www.ashgatehospicecare.org.uk for more information about Ashgate Hospicecare and to donate.

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