From Trentham to Florence… a charity challenge with a difference

Staff at Staffordshire’s Trentham Gardens have set themselves a marathon charity challenge in October – walking and running from the popular tourist attraction to Florence in Italy.

But the 884-mile trek will be completed without leaving the boundaries of the Trentham Estate on the edge of Stoke-on-Trent, because this particular challenge starts and finishes at one of the finest Italianate gardens outside of Italy.

Taking inspiration from Trentham’s famous ‘Perseus with the Head of Medusa’ statue – the only true copy of an original 16th century masterpiece located in Florence’s piazza della Signoria – staff members aim to cover the total distance between the two statues.

Trentham’s replica – proudly standing at the head of the Italian Gardens overlooking the lake – was one of the biggest freestanding bronze sculptures in the UK after being commissioned by the 2nd Duke of Sutherland around 1840.

To achieve their ambitious target, and raising money for three charities, those taking part will be running, walking and jogging around the Capability Brown designed lake at the heart of the historic Estate.

While it is actually 883.27 miles as the crow flies from Trentham to Florence, Trentham has rounded it up for the charity challenge.

And with a lap of the lake at Trentham racking up 2.2 miles, the 884 mile target will equal 401.8 laps throughout the month of October – an average of 13 laps per day.

Staff will be taking on the sponsored charity challenge to raise funds for Stoke’s Douglas Macmillan Hospice (known as Dougie Mac); LandAid, which campaigns to end youth homelessness in the UK; and the Alzheimer’s Society.

Said Donna Adams, Head of Fundraising and Lottery at Dougie Mac: “COVID-19 and subsequent restrictions have impacted us all. Here at Dougie Mac, we are incredibly proud that we have been able to maintain our end-of-life care throughout the pandemic. We want to thank Trentham Gardens and all of their staff for carrying out such a great fundraising initiative, helping to raise essential income to allow us to continue providing the exceptional care that we are locally renowned for.”

The Trentham Estate’s Director, Alastair Budd, added: “The Trentham Estate is always looking at how we can support charities and the ‘Perseus to Perseus Challenge’ seemed the perfect opportunity, especially with so many fundraising events being cancelled this year.

“The team can’t wait to get started and whilst they don’t actually get to end their run in Italy, they’re thrilled that we can help raise vital funds for these three charities, each with their own personal link to Trentham. And if you spot any of the fundraisers on your next visit then please do give them a cheer, I’m sure they’ll appreciate it!”.

Anyone wanting to support the charity effort can find out more at https://www.trentham.co.uk/blog/2020/september/perseus-to-perseus/

For more information about Trentham, see www.trentham.co.uk