Lydon hopes his weighty challenge will give Hospiscare funds a lift

 Exeter Demons American football team

Charity fundraisers drawn from the Exeter Demons American football team will give Hospiscare a lift - Credit: Lydon Ward-Best

Ten members of a local American football team are attempting a staggering endurance test to raise vital funds for Hospiscare in memory of a popular Ottery St Mary woman.
Bronia Rosier, who many will also remember as Bronia Ward-Best, ran the post office in Ottery and launched Poppy’s cafe. She died of cancer three and a half years ago.
Her son, Lydon, who lives with his family in Whimple, has organised a fundraising event to support Hospiscare, the charity that looked after Bronia in the last few weeks of her life.
Lydon, who plays American football, will be part of a team of ten players and coaches from the University of Exeter Demons who will attempt to lift the weight of the Statue of Liberty - that’s 225 tons – in one day, Friday, June 25.
Their gruelling fundraiser is being staged at the Oliver Joseph Fitness gym in Whimple.
Lydon, who is a mortgage and insurance broker, said: “I have played American football for a long time and have wanted to do something to help Hospiscare after they helped my mum.
“This is a big challenge but we reckon we can do it.”
He had planned to stage the fundraising event in November, which would have been the third anniversary of Bronia’s death, but the covid-19 pandemic put a stop to it. Around £1,000 was pledged at the time and so far this time round around £300 has been raised.
One of the weightlifting team members works for an organisation who pledge match funding for good causes, up to £1,000. So, all in all, Lydon is hoping their herculean efforts at the end of the month will raise around £5,000.
He added: “This is our second attempt to complete this challenge. Thank you so much to everyone who donated the first time around, that is already helping so many people. 
“Oliver Joseph Fitness in Whimple are kindly hosting us and Fitness for Sport in Plymouth have kindly helped provide our printed T-shirts for the day.”
He added: “I know the last 12 months hasn’t been easy, but anything you can give is greatly appreciated and will help other families in Devon.”
The fundraising link is  https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lydon-ward-best2
Hospiscare’s Toni Hiscocks told the Herald: “When I first heard about Lydon’s liftathon last year in memory of his mum Bronia I was in awe.
“This is quite something, lifting the weight of the Statue of Liberty is very impressive – all 225 tons and on one day! 
“It’s definitely no easy challenge and we couldn’t be more grateful to Lydon, and all involved for taking on this challenge to raise vital funds for Hospiscare. This will be his second attempt, the first being postponed due to another lockdown being in place.
We are all blown away by his determination and dedication to our charity.
“A true ambassador, his mum would be so very proud of all that he has achieved.”
Toni added: Thank you to everyone who has kindly supported Lydon.
“Without the generosity of our community our specialist healthcare teams could not be there for others, giving them care and support, allowing them to spend their precious time making memories with those they love matter most.
“From our team of doctors, nurses, support staff, and most of all, the patients we care for, thank you, Lydon and his fundraising friends for thinking of us during this very difficult time.”

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