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Spalding Specsavers staff take on charity challenge in memory of Shyam

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Staff from Specsavers in Spalding have set themselves a charity challenge to walk/cycle the equivalent of 780 miles from their store to the Eiffel Tower and back.

The charity effort will be in memory of their colleague, optician Shyam Lakhani, who passed away suddenly last year.

Eleven team members from the Hall Place store will be covering the miles to raise funds for Rainbows Hospice for children and young people with life limiting illnesses, a charity close to Shyam’s heart.

Specsavers fundraisers Liggy Davey, Matt Leavey, Perry Davey, Christine East and Ronnie Everett
Specsavers fundraisers Liggy Davey, Matt Leavey, Perry Davey, Christine East and Ronnie Everett

To kickstart the challenge, which they have called ‘S-miles for Shyam’, they covered108 miles in March. This marks the distance from Spalding Specsavers to Rainbows Hospice and back, where Shyam regularly volunteered. In April they completed 500 miles, the distance of Shyam’s weekly commute.

The challenge is personal for everyone taking part and the Eiffel Tower virtual destination has special significance, as it was the place where Shyam proposed to his wife Dulari in March 2016.

"We are incredibly grateful to all those that are supporting and sponsoring us," said store director Ian Stradling. "Despite this being a challenge for us all we are passionate about doing something positive in memory of Shyam.

"It’s a daunting distance, but we’re all committed and have been enjoying the walking – with one of the team now cycling because of a knee injury – but we’re not giving up.

"We’re monitoring our progress on the Strava app to keep track of everyone’s endeavours and I’m sure there will be some healthy rivalry as the challenge progresses."

The fundraising efforts will continue for the next six months. On Sunday they will participate in the ‘Three Stores Challenge,’ to mark the one-year anniversary since Shyam passed away. They will be walking the 19 miles between the sister stores in Holbeach and Bourne via the Spalding store.

Rainbows Hospice is the East Midlands’ only hospice for children and young people and covers a large area including south Lincolnshire. All the money raised will go towards helping their staff continue their support, both in the hospice and in the home environments of those who need them. For further information visit www.rainbows.co.uk

For further information, updates on the challenge and to donate, you can visit the team’s Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/s-milesforshyam

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