THE STAMINA and muscle power of Adver staff will be tested as they embark on a series of physical challenges as part of the 160 Appeal to raise £160,000 for Prospect Hospice.

From skydives to bike rides and curry nights, reporters, editors, marketing managers and sales representatives will pull out all the stops to reach the ambitious target on the Adver’s 160th anniversary year for the Wroughton hospice.

A pair of daredevil reporters, Mike Benke and Elizabeth Mackley, will jump out of a plane 10,000 ft above ground at a skydive this summer while the advertising and editorial departments will go head to head at the Rotary Club Swindon Phoenix’s Dragon Boat Race at Coate Water on June 29.

Deputy news editor Scott D’Arcy will lead by example by cycling 55km non-stop at the Prospect Big Bike on April 27 alongside features and supplements editor Michelle Tompkins. After joining the Adver’s team at the Dragon Boat Race he will go it alone at the Big Swim at Bowmoor Sailing Club in Lechlade on Saturday, July 12 and also aim to complete a Spartan Race on August 31.

Reporter Marion Sauvebois will receive intense training in quick-step, cha-cha and tango before competing in the Prospect Let’s Dance ballroom challenge on November 28.

Scott said: “We want to show we are willing to put our bodies on the line and really do some good for a charity that everyone agrees is thoroughly deserving. The Adver staff will be doing our best to raise as much cash as we can throughout the year to hit our ambitious target and we hope you will support us by donating.”

Throughout the year the Adver will also hold a couple of supermarket bagging weeks, curry nights and use its bi-annual pub quiz to collect donations for Prospect in a race against the watch to reach the £160,000 mark by December.

The Wroughton charity must secure £5.8 million each year to continue caring for the people of Swindon and North Wiltshire.

The organisation, which was founded in 1980, receives less than 30 per cent of its income from statutory bodies such as the NHS to support a community of around 300,000 people - some living as far afield as Gloucestershire.

In 2012/13, its nurses and staff treated and supported 1,995 people not merely at the hospice itself but in their own homes, care homes and at the Great Western Hospital.

£160,000 would help to pay for approximately 500 over-night stays in the hospice’s in-patient unit; that is 12 days at a time for 43 patients.

The sum would cover 6,400 hours of support of the 24-hour Prospect@Home service.

It would also fund counselling and support for 2,000 family members after the loss of a loved one or during their ongoing illness.


  • By cheque: With the donation form in the Adver
  • By card: Online through the donate now button,
  • In cash: Prospect Hospice reception in Wroughton, Prospect Hospice retail shops or the Swindon Advertiser office are all taking payments
  • Prospect Hospice can also take card donations over the phone – contact the fundraising team on 01793 816161
  • Taking part in an event for Prospect? Why not donate through our appeal – let us know via email on 160appeal@swindon or call us on 01793 501806.