Melksham man takes on half-marathon rowathon in aid of Julia’s House children’s hospice

A local man has successfully rowed the equivalent of a half marathon to raise over £700 for south-west based children’s hospice, Julia’s House.

The gruelling 13.4-mile row was carried out by Richard Newman, who lives in Melksham and is a keen runner. He decided to take on a new challenge to raise funds for the hospice charity and completed the rowathon at Melksham Community Campus.

Richard, who works for local housing association Aster Group as a financial wellbeing officer, completed the challenge in 1 hour and 39 minutes, beating his own target of 1 hour and 45 minutes.

Richard said: “I took on this challenge because I wanted to help families facing unimaginable heartbreak - the knowledge that their child may not live into adulthood. Julia’s House provides frequent, flexible care for children with life-limited or life-threatening conditions to give their parents a much-needed break.

“Amazingly, Julia’s House has to raise 95 per cent of the money it needs each year to run this vital service which is why I have chosen to support them.

“The row was tough but very enjoyable and I’m so pleased to have raised money for this great cause.”

Nicky Clack, Julia’s House Wiltshire fundraising assistant said: “We’re incredibly grateful to Richard for taking on this ambitious challenge for Julia’s House, and to Aster Group for their support as well – Richard is an inspiration to us all!  We rely on fundraising income to continue our essential care for children with life-limiting conditions in the Wiltshire community – thank you both so much!”

To boost Richard’s fundraising efforts, Aster donated £250, which combined with Richard’s own fundraising of £453, brought the overall total for the rowathon to £703.

For further information on Julia’s House, please visit and for more information on Aster Group visit

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