Leading the charge was our ambassador and England Captain Harry Kane, who encouraged participants to complete the challenge and raise vital funds for our care services. Come rain, wind, snow (and a little sun), together the team stepped it up every day to complete their miles raising almost £25,000 for Haven House. 

The month-long virtual challenge saw participants walk along stunning beaches, hike up hills, explore towns and wade through puddles (and mud) in order to get their steps in.

Here we shine a spotlight on just some of the brilliant walkers that crossed the finish line.

Miles for Smiles is close to my heart

Antony was motivated to take part in Miles for Smiles after receiving care and support from Haven House when he was a teenager.

Antony was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia when he was 11 years old. Through Haven House’s Teenage Cancer Group Antony found support, made friends and was able to access services such as music therapy, physio and yoga, which helped with his recovery.

Antony, now 20, said;

 Haven House has been a lifeline. The teenage cancer group was like a mini family to me. I loved meeting with them every month. I could relax, have fun and just be myself as everyone around me understood what I am going through.

The team at Haven House were delighted to see Antony complete the Miles for Smiles challenge with such strength, resilience, and determination. Well done Antony. Super proud of you!

Footie mad Jack

Jack, 9, decided to take part with his mum Amy. Jack lives close to the hospice and wanted to do something to support the children we care for. Jack clocked up a huge 665,886 steps and raised an amazing £1,770 for our hospice surpassing his initial fundraising target of £200 by some mile. 

Jack said:

“I decided to do Miles for Smiles with my mummy as I wanted to do something good for children who need it. We live really close to Haven House so when my mummy said she was going to do it, I decided to join. Doing 10k steps every day was quite hard but I managed to get my steps in before and after school, going for walks and on our treadmill."

“I'm also a big Harry Kane fan! I'm a Leyton Orient season ticket holder and he once played for them. I'd like to be a footballer one day too. This challenge was good for getting me fit. I'd love to meet Harry one day and it's brilliant that he supports children who need it.” 

 Children’s Mental Health Week 

Throughout Children’s Mental Health Week Trent CoE School in North London made steps towards greater wellbeing. 120 pupils completed the daily mile in support of the Miles for Smiles challenge. Children ran, jogged, or walked at their own pace, with the aim of improving their physical, and mental wellbeing whilst also supporting Haven House.

Headteacher Chrissy Vassiliou said:

The children showed exceptional enthusiasm and dedication which was lovely to witness. The link between physical activity and mental health is widely recognised therefore being able to support the community with their Daily Mile activity was a special way to mark Childrens Mental Health Week.”

Young fundraiser Amelie

Churchfields schoolgirl Amelie, hit two big milestones throughout the month. She completed a huge 183.53km and raised over £1,000 in sponsorship.

Amelie didn’t let the typical British weather stop her in her fundraisings quest. She ensured she got her steps done (all 315,683 of them) by walking to school, playing tennis and doing karate.

Amelie, who lives in nearby South Woodford, said:

“I wanted to help children who can’t do everything that I can do. Two years ago, I baked with my mum for a whole week to host a cake sale for Haven House. When I went to Haven House to hand over my donation I got to see where they look after the children. Haven House is a beautiful place for the children and their families.”

Tony and his paw-some four-legged friends

The Miles for Smiles challenge was not just for humans. Tony Rapley, wife Lorraine and daughter Tracy and their happy hounds put their best paws forward to raise vital funds for the hospice.

Tony, 66, headed out each day with his pooch Heidi (and pooch companions) to complete their steps. In an ironic twist, Tony was involved in refurbishing our hospice back in 2002.  

Tony said:

We loved the challenge as it gave us a real positive focal point for the month. I know how much needed funds can help this amazing cause. It was fun talking to so many other walkers in the Facebook community group. There was a real sense of camaraderie.

Harry Kane superfan

Devon-based Lynne was inspired to take on challenge by Harry Kane. Lynne a life-long Spurs supporter says she has some wonderful memories of him scoring and wanted to say thank you by giving something back to a cause close to his heart.

Lynne said:

“Harry spurred me on to do this challenge for Haven House. I couldn’t think of a more worthwhile cause. I loved being part of the Miles for Smiles community and seeing everyone’s daily walking posts. The weather made some days extra tough, but knowing I was part of team helped me to keep going.” 

Harry Kane said: 

“As a parent, I wish no one ever has to rely on a children’s hospice. However, I am profoundly thankful for Haven House, bringing light to the darkest moments and providing a comforting embrace of care and strength for families enduring the unimaginable. 

“Miles for Smiles is so much more than a challenge. It’s a community coming together to support an incredibly vital charity. A massive well done to everyone who took part. Seeing your photos and stories is incredible and has made me so proud to be your Captain.”