Mum aims for ‘peak’ performance in charity challenge

Mick Ferris
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A Laindon mum is taking on the epic Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, helping to raise money for the neo-natal intensive care unit (NICU) at Basildon Hospital.

It’s a cause close to the hearts of Lauren and John Hatful, who had twin girls Poppy and Daisy prematurely in the Basildon maternity unit in September last year.

Sadly, Poppy passed away at just 18 days old.

Lauren, together with her cousin and friends, is now taking on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge on Saturday, August 7, to raise funds for the unit. The challenge will see Lauren and her friends cover the three peaks, a distance of 25 miles, in just 10 hours.

Lauren said: “I’ve never done anything like it before, but we’ve been training so hard with lengthy walks in Hornchurch, Upminster, Epping Forest and most recently on a practice run ahead of the big day by completing the 25-mile Surrey three peaks. So we know we can do this.”

The couple were so grateful to the NICU staff for all that they did for their family and have already previously raised almost £3,500 for the unit.

Both Lauren and John are working with the clinical team on how funds can benefit other families in similar situations in the future.

John said: “Lauren and I had this feeling that we needed to do something. Something in Poppy’s name, something to raise money and awareness of just how amazing these NICUs are.

“No-one understands what these places do for people until you go through the situation of having a baby in there.”

Lauren and John have set up an Instagram account called Poppy’s People (poppyspeople_) detailing all their fundraising efforts. Donations can be made via: Ellis OGrady is fundraising for Mid & South Essex Hospitals Charity (

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