FOOTBALL manager and Julia’s House patron, Harry Redknapp has given the Julia’s House Around the World challenge team of carers, nurses and support staff a massive boost as they start the last leg of the fundraising virtual journey around the world.

Harry sent a good luck message to the 62 staff taking part and did two laps of his Sandbanks garden, donating the distance to the team.

He said: “Well done to all the nurses, staff and volunteers at Julia’s House who have taken part in this fantastic fundraising global trek around the world.

“It’s been a big challenge over lockdown but you’ve made a great effort. Well done!”

Back in April, furloughed staff from Julia’s House, the Dorset and Wiltshire children’s hospice charity, set themselves a lockdown fundraising challenge to collectively walk, run or cycle 24,900 miles during their daily exercise - a distance equivalent to travelling around the world.

They were soon joined by more Julia’s House colleagues who have been running, walking and cycling to achieve the global target. They’ve completed just over 85 per cent of their journey in just 78 days!

The team are now just heading into Brazil on the last 5,000 miles of their challenge, aiming to raise funds to enable the charity to continue its vital work caring for local children with life-limiting and life-threatening conditions across Dorset and Wiltshire.

“This is such a boost for everyone’” says Gemma Linford, the Julia House carer who co-ordinated the challenge while on furlough and has just gone back to work at Julia’s House.

“The team have been fantastic, going out in all weathers, fitting the miles in around home schooling and family commitments and work too. It’s been a real team effort. Harry’s wonderful message has come along at just the right time, when we’re heading home.

"We so want to meet our fundraising target of £12,000, it would make the world of difference to local vulnerable children and their families. If people haven’t donated, we would love them to make a pledge now.”

Harry joins fellow Julia’s House patrons, actor Nigel Havers and long distance runner Liz Yelling, who have been supporting the team with their daily miles.

Julia’s House nurses and carers are continuing, under strict infection control procedures, to visit vulnerable children in their homes across Dorset and Wiltshire, responding to families’ changing needs on a daily basis. The care and support they provide at this time not only offers vital reassurance and advice to anxious parents, but crucially, is easing the burden on an overstretched NHS by enabling these children to stay at home.

The charity receives no Government funding in Wiltshire and just five per cent in Dorset and, and relies almost entirely on public fundraising, donations and Gifts in Wills to continue its support of local families. Julia’s House has welcomed Government support to help compensate for its significant fall in income, but not knowing how long this support will continue nor how long the country will be in some form of lockdown, the charity’s situation is challenging at a time when its care is such a lifeline for local children and families.

To donate to the Julia’s House Global Challenge visit