Hampstead Garden Suburb councillor striding ahead with walk to help North London Hospice

Cllr John Marshall is completing a charity walk on the Hampstead Heath Extension for the North Londo

Cllr John Marshall is completing a charity walk on the Hampstead Heath Extension for the North London Hospice. Picture: Nigel Sutton - Credit: Nigel Sutton

A long-standing Hampstead Garden Suburb councillor is putting on his walking boots this weekend to take on his 40th fundraising challenge for the North London Hospice.

Cllr John Marshall hoped to walk four circuits of the Hampstead Heath Extension yesterday to help the hospice, which cares for people with life-limiting illnesses.

The 73-year-old first trekked for the charity in 1990 at the age of 50 and has since completed two walks a year, with no plans to stop.

“I actually enjoy the exercise and I feel the hospice is a very good cause, and if you can raise £6,000 or £7,000 a year, you’re doing a great local service,” he said.

“The North London Hospice supports people in dire need in Enfield and Haringey so it’s very much a local hospice.

“I know people who have spent their last few days there and how relatives are treated, and how the patients are treated is brilliant.

“It really is such a great organisation and it deserves as much support as it can get.”

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In April, Cllr Marshall took part in the hospice’s 7.5-mile Big Fun Walk from East Finchley to Westminster. He was one of 1,400 people to take part and managed to raise £5,500 of the £157,000 total.

The father-of-two will be accompanied on this circuit by his friend Dr Simon Gibeon, who works at Heathfield Medical Centre in Lyttelton Road, East Finchley.

The hospice, in Woodside Avenue, Whetstone, cares for dying patients and their families, helping physically and emotionally.

Services to cater for their specialist needs are provided free of charge by specially trained teams, which include doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, social workers, counsellors and chaplains.

Cllr Marshall, who has served Hampstead Garden Suburb for 15 years and served as MP for Hendon South, where he still lives, said: “I was defeated in 1997, like many of the Conservatives, and I wanted to continue public service.

“The Suburb was, I thought, a particularly beautiful part of Barnet and I wanted to preserve the character of the Suburb.”

Asked how much he hoped to raise from his walk, he said: “I won’t raise so much this time as I had one or two very big donations last time. But you never know, with the Ham&High behind me, I might just do it!”

* To make a donation, send a cheque payable to North London Hospice to Cllr Marshall at 3 Westchester Drive, NW4 1RD.