HOSPICE supporter Jamie Hopkins is putting himself to the test for a year of challenges.
Each week of 2016, the 25-year-old is undertaking a fundraising task that will put him outside his comfort zone.
He dived straight into his My Comfort Zone Challenge for St Wilfrid’s Hospice with a dip in the icy waters at East Wittering on New Year’s Day.
Jamie, of Oak Avenue, Chichester, said: “I tried to think outside of the box with my sponsorship idea as I wanted to do something different and unique and I came across this idea from somebody who took on a similar challenge.
“I hold St Wilfrid’s Hospice in Chichester very close to my heart. My grandparents were former patients, my mum has been working there for around 20 years as a clinical nurse specialist, while a number of my other family members have or currently work there, including my sister-in-law and cousin.
“I have always wanted to raise money for them ever since my brother ran the London Marathon for the hospice, which initially inspired me to want to do something myself.”
Week two saw Jamie and friend Matthew Geffen take part in the Arena Sports Centre’s Spinathon, an hour by hour relay. Jamie said he had never taken part in a spinning session before.
It was a kitchen challenge that kept Jamie occupied in week three. He cooked four meals that he had never cooked before from scratch, including a roast for the family.
Jamie said: “I’m not blessed with the most natural cooking skills and with my mum in a sling, I thought It would be a good opportunity to challenge myself in the kitchen.”
Nicknaming himself Twinkle Toes Hopkins, Jamie stepped out on to the dance floor for week four.
“Probably the most nervous I’ve been yet,” he said. “I danced at a quickstep (slowstep), cha-cha-cha and salsa class at the Newell Centre in Chichester.”
Week five took Jamie into the hospice, in Grosvenor Road, Chichester, to meet some of the patients there.
“Apart from just raising money, I thought my challenge would be a great opportunity to raise awareness of the brilliant things they do there,” he explained.
“I spent the day chatting to and spending time with the patients at the Day Hospice. In the morning, the patients had an insightful visit from the Mary Rose Museum, leaving me to model the attire worn by many during the Tudor period.”
It wasn’t so much dressing up as dressing right down in week six, when Jamie pushed his boundaries further to join members of the British Naturism Society for a spot of skinny dipping.
“Probably the most interesting experience yet,” he admitted.
“I probably brought the average age down by about 20 years.”
His latest exploit was the Zumbathon at Westgate Leisure Centre, Chichester, on Sunday, part of Love Your Hospice Month running at St Wilfrid’s throughout February.
Communications officer Helen Humphry said Jamie was an amazing supporter.
“He has lots of other activities planned but I wonder if we could ask Observer readers to suggest or facilitate a challenge or two for him throughout the year.”
Visit give.everydayhero.com/uk/52weeks-52challenges for more information or to donate, or email firstname.lastname@example.org with challenge suggestions.
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