Hundreds of runners took part in a Festive Fun Run at Bridgwater & Albion Rugby Club, raising vital funds for St. Margaret’s Hospice.

Among them was Andrew Baker, who was motivated to sign up for his first 5k run after his father Paul was cared for at the charity’s Taunton hospice.

The 30-year-old from Bridgwater started training nine weeks before the event in December. He was joined on the day by family members who came along to support and enjoy attractions including a festive treasure hunt and photo booth.

Andrew, pictured above right, smashed his original sponsorship target of £250, raising more than £400 for St. Margaret’s. His friend Josh also took part, raising more than £300.

“The event was really good and all the family had a great time,” said Andrew.

Paul, who loved fishing, had three children and eight grandchildren. He died in October at the age of 54, having been diagnosed with cancer in November 2016, just after a family holiday. Having visited St. Margaret’s Hospice in Taunton several times during his illness, Paul, pictured below with his wife Annette, moved into the In-Patient Unit for the last few weeks of his life.

“The nurses were amazing, and they really looked after mum too,” said Andrew. “At first dad was a bit unsure about going into the hospice, because our family has never been through this before so we didn’t know what to expect.

“We were all a bit unsure, but after 10 or 15 minutes of being there, we all felt much better. Dad had his own room which opened out onto the garden, so his grandchildren could all come and spend time with dad in our own private space. It was really nice for mum to stay with him as well.

“We were all there for the last couple of days and they let us use the Sunflower Suite. It wasn’t just dad who was cared for, it was all of us. The staff couldn’t do enough for us. They were always there to help.”

Andrew and his family had previously enjoyed taking part in the Night Walk in Yeovil in September, shortly before Paul passed away.

Explaining why he decided to raise money for St. Margaret’s, Andrew said: “I just wanted to give something back, so that if other families are going through the same thing they can have the same care.”

To find out about upcoming fundraising events, click here