This week, Ian Lowther and Erwin Hymer Group presented a cheque to Willow Burn Hospice for £4,700 following the Warehouse Team Leader’s unique 215-mile, coast-to-coast ultramarathon across Scotland which was match funded by his employers.

With 100 hours to complete Race Across Scotland, Ian 38 of Annfield Plain crossed the finish line with time to spare, beating the clock by three hours, after enduring some gruelling climbs over mountains and through valleys, often in the pitch black or thick fog. Ian’s inspiration came from his grandma, Marjorie Curry, who passed away from liver and lung cancer aged 69.

Ian said:

“In 1998 my grandma was admitted into the hospice where she received end of life care. The level of care and the passion shown by the staff and everyone, it was just absolutely incredible and left a place in my heart. I knew that one day I had to come back and say thank you. This challenge and many others like this was my way of saying thank you.”

When Erwin Hymer Group heard about Ian’s latest challenge, they pledged to support him and the Hospice by match funding all donations.  

Rachel Todd, Head of Fundraising and Marketing said: “We were blown away when Erwin Hymer Group got behind Ian and the hospice. Willow Burn wouldn’t exist without the people who support it, both financially and in kind. We rely on people like Ian and local businesses to help us to raise enough money to provide vital end of life and palliative services to people who need them the most. This fundraising boost from Erwin Hymer Group means that Ian has raised enough funds to operate the Helen McArdle In-Patient Wing for 72 hours.”

Chris Short, from Erwin Hymer Group said: “When we have a colleague like Ian, who works so tirelessly for charity, we want to support them – not only financially, in terms of match funding, but also emotionally. Race Across Scotland was a herculean task, and Ian approached this endurance race with the same steadfast perseverance, hard work and calm approach that we see in his role at Erwin Hymer Group. We were fully behind Ian every step of the way and are hugely proud of what he did!”

This isn’t the first running challenge Ian has taken on for Willow Burn. Over the last 3 years he has completed 11 races, raising thousands of pounds for end-of-life care in Derwentside.

Rachel Todd said:

“Ian is an absolute hero to us all at Willow Burn. We were watching him every step of the way on his tracker, willing him to succeed. Not only has he raised an incredible amount of money for the hospice, but he has really shone a light on the vital work of our team here and the need for our services in this area.”

Ian was highly commended at this year’s North East Charity of the Year Awards for his dedication to the hospice, when he was shortlisted for Charity Ambassador of the Year. Ian’s next challenge, the Montane Cheviot Goat, is on 3 December, a 55-mile ultra-run which promises to test participants’ mind and body.

Willow Burn is a nurse-led hospice located on Howden Bank in Lanchester and is a state-of-the-art facility offering specialist supportive, palliative and end of life care, including in-patient care, respite, day services and bereavement and family support.


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