Ipswich student asks for charity donations instead of presents

A young woman from Ipswich has raised some £850 for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) by asking for sponsorship money instead of presents for her 21st birthday.

Katie Lewis, who lives with mum Julie, dad Calvin, older brother Jason and five-year-old tortoise Alfie, recently took part in a triathlon at Alton Water.

She explained: “For some reason unbeknown to man, doing a triathlon has always been on my bucket list – and I’m not getting any younger! I celebrated quite a big birthday in December, so thought by asking for donations instead of presents I’d be able to raise more money for charity than if I just did it out of the blue. People were so generous and I can’t thank them enough.”

The gruelling event consisted of a 750m swim, 21k bike ride and 4.5k run – in 28 degree heat!

Katie, who had aimed to raise £500, said: “I was so tired, but I felt a lot happier and proud afterwards. I got so much support from my friends and family as well as complete strangers as I was going round – I even got sponsored whilst I was running! I’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone for their very generous donations, and ongoing love and support. I honestly couldn’t have done it without them.”

Katie is a final year veterinary nursing student at Nottingham Trent University and currently based in Essex whilst she works at Southfields Veterinary Specialists for her placement year.

She does not have a personal connection to EACH, but works at Ipswich Town on matchdays and said the club’s relationship with the charity inspired her to support its work caring for children and young people with life-threatening conditions, and supporting their families.

For more information about EACH, go to www.each.org.uk. To add to Katie’s fundraising total, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/katie-lewis28.