Family, friends and colleagues stepped out on Saturday 2 October to complete a combined 195km walk in aid of Haven House.

Despite grey skies and damp conditions, 65 walkers got on their walking shoes to complete the inaugural Rudy’s Ramble in support of two-year-old Rudy Hastings, his family and our hospice. Ramblers dressed in bright orange, to complete 3km each – totally a staggering 195km around Thames Chase, Upminster. The group raised a fantastic £5,800 for Haven House, which supports Rudy.

After the Ramble, walkers enjoyed much needed warm refreshments of bacon rolls and cupcakes in the shelter of the barn at Thames Chase.


It was Rudy’s eyes that initially concerned his parents. From around four weeks old he made very little eye contact with them or his toys, and his eyes would repeatedly drift upwards or shake from side to side. At around 11 weeks old Rudy then began to have seizures. He suffers from Epilepsy and hypotonia (low muscle tone), which means he struggles to hold his head up, sit up or roll. Rudy has global developmental delay, and it’s unclear at what age Rudy might stand or walk - if at all. All known sufferers of MCAHS-1 are also non-verbal.

Mum Nicola said: "Despite feeling completely heartbroken and railroaded when we received his diagnosis last October, we were also acutely aware of just how smiley and happy Rudy was and still is.

Our goal is to enrich Rudy’s path, and enable him to achieve his maximum potential. It’s hard to know what life is going to be like for Rudy, and this uncertainty at times can be really difficult, but on the other hand having no expectations or any real benchmarks to compare him to, the sky really is the limit with what he could achieve.”

Ironically, before Rudy was born dad Harry and mum Nicola already had a personal fundraising relationship with Haven House, and the company Harry co-founded, Ocean Holidays, has been a corporate partner since 2020, raising significant funds annually to support our hospice’s vital work.

Rudy benefits from a range of therapeutic services offered by Haven House. These include music therapy, yoga and physio, and occasional respite care for his parents.

Caroline Milton, Haven House’s Corporate Partnerships Manager, said: “It was absolutely fantastic to see so many people take part in the first ever Rudy’s Ramble. We’re hugely grateful to everyone who came along - and to Ocean Holidays, who have fundraised tirelessly for us throughout the pandemic, despite the huge challenges faced by the travel industry.

“Our local community are crucial in allowing us to continue our work. Haven House cares for more than 300 children and their families and the money raised will be go towards supporting the specialist services we provide to seriously ill children and their families who need us now and into the future.”

Fundraising did not stop with the ramble. Lauren Ox, an employee at Ocean Holidays, held a five-hour Bounce-athon at Bounce, Brentwood.  Lauren certainly felt her achievements in her legs the next day – but the event raised nearly £3000!

Ocean Holidays and organisers of Rudy’s Ramble would like to thank the following Romford and Havering small businesses for their support: Grape & Fig, Gasbag Balloons, More than Mascots, Bounce Brentwood, Fruit for the Office, Edge performance institute, O’Sugar Cakes & Ped’s Pizza.

Photography Credit: Tyler Fayose Photography