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Charity challenge seeks to push for greater support for local hospice care

Sebastian, Neil and Zak - picture credited to Jonny Freeman

Three men from Basingstoke are using a special challenge to try and push for greater support for local hospice care.

Neil Henley, Zak Woodger and Sebastian Gee have spent the past ten months not cutting their hair, to try and raise funds for St Michael's Hospice.

The centre supports people in need of respite care from across the South of England and further afield.

For Sebastian their efforts took on a whole new meaning, when his mum received care from the team there before she sadly passed away:

"We started off the project as so many friends and family have ended up in the hospice - and then a few months down the line, mum ended up in the hospice.

"Seeing all the work that they do there first hand, you realise just how much it is needed.

"It's 80% private funded and 20% government funded - and that's a great shame, because they really do amazing work there."

Neil's told us their motivation to try and help was inspired by the support people they know were given:

"We've had a lot of friends and family who've ended up in the hospice, so we started off because of that.

"The amount of funding the hospice requires made the challenge so important to us, so we thought we'd go for it."

The men are aiming to raise around £7,000 when they finish their challenge in two months time.

Zak's told us they're keen to use their efforts to raise awareness of the need to support hospices with their vital work:

"It's not just a place for people to go, it's also a great support unit.

"The people who work don't just do it as a job, they care so much about the patients and their families.

"The challenge has been warm, hard and frustrating, but in the end we know we can get through it as we really want to hit our target."

To give to their appeal head to their fundraising page.

(Above: Six months into the challenge - picture credited to St Michael's Hospice)

You can hear more from Neil, Zak and Sebastian in the audio clips below.

They've been speaking to our reporter Jonny Freeman.

NEIL HENLEY

SEBASTIAN GEE

ZAK WOODGER

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