Pearl, 94, nails garden marathon task for Prittlewell hospice

Pearl Naylor MBE, 94, has been volunteering for Fair Havens since the very beginning, even before the original hospice opened on Chalkwell Avenue.

Since lockdown, Pearl has been shielding at her house in Southend but, feeling helpless, she wanted to do her bit and contribute to the charity.

Havens Hospices is facing a drop in income during the coronavirus pandemic because all public fundraising events have been cancelled or postponed.

So, supported by her grandson Ryan Philpot and his wife Mel, Pearl walked 26 times around her garden and has made a donation of £100 to the hospice, which is now situated in Prittlewell opposite Priory Park and has been caring for patients since March 9.

Pearl said: “When I saw Captain Tom doing his challenge at 100 years old, I thought to myself ‘I can do something, too.’ So we had the idea of 26 laps of my garden because the London Marathon – which raises hundreds of thousands of pounds for Havens Hospices – is 26 miles.”

Grandson Ryan, who is from Westcliff, said: “Nan is incredible, just super-human. She has tremendous energy, wit and selfless generosity. To her, age is just a number.

“She lights up a room with her cheeky smile and aced the 26 laps of her garden. I wouldn’t rule out a full marathon next time!”

Visit: or the charity’s social media channels @HavensHospices for ideas on how to support the charity.

To keep up to date with the latest developments at Havens Hospices, please visit

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: [email protected]