Uniting Hearts, Miles, and Hope with The Clifftop Challenge in Kent

Based around a 55-mile run from Hastings to Deal, the Clifftop Challenge has raised over £190,000 for Breast Cancer Now!


Back for its tenth year, the Clifftop Challenge is a beacon of hope born from the courage of a friend facing breast cancer. CommunityAd had the pleasure of speaking to David Smith and his colleagues from the South East Coast Ambulance Service (SECAmb) to delve into the significance of the Clifftop Challenge and get to know the inspiring paramedics taking part in the challenge.


CommunityAd Exclusive - Uniting Hearts, Miles, and Hope with The Clifftop Challenge in KentCould you share more about the history and significance of the Clifftop Challenge and its impact on supporting breast cancer patients?

The Clifftop Challenge was started after our friend Chantele was diagnosed with secondary breast cancer, after being in remission since her first diagnosis in 2012. Along with the help of her husband who’s also a keen runner, they thought a challenge like The Clifftop would be a perfect way to raise money and awareness for breast cancer. Funding is so important as it allows patients to try new treatment and pays for research. Chantele was put on life-saving chemotherapy and she knew funds needed to be raised not only to help her but the thousands of women who suffer with this horrendous disease. Since the first challenge back in 2012 the participants have grown from 80 to 350 last year and the event has raised over £190,000 and is well on its way to smash the £200,000 mark.


What inspired you and your paramedic colleagues to participate in the Clifftop Challenge, and how does the event resonate with the values of the South East Coast Ambulance Service?

This is the fourth time I’ve run the CTC and the third time in which SECAmb staff have taken part in it. For me, personally, just seeing Chantele deal with her diagnosis with such determination and strength put things in to perspective and running ten-miles, whilst a challenge, seems pretty easy compared with her battle against this disease. The reaction from my colleagues has been fantastic, last year about eight of us ran, this year we currently have 24 and I’m sure more will join before registration closes.


How do you hope your involvement in the Clifftop Challenge will contribute to raising awareness about breast cancer and supporting those affected by it, both locally and nationally?

As health care professionals I think we have a duty of responsibility to encourage people to lead healthier lifestyles. Personally, I’m not a fan of all this “not all heroes wear capes”, however we are a respected service and the public do value us which is greatly appreciated. Taking part in an event like this might just be the difference in getting people off the sofa and out walking or running.


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