WORCESTER'S St Richard's Hospice has received more than £2,700 from a major vehicle leasing company in memory of one of its employees.

Teams from Arval, which has centres in Birmingham and Swindon, took time away from their desks to take part in a range of office-based sporting activities to raise money for the hospice after one of their colleagues Chris Birch, who died last year, was cared for by the charity’s Hospice at Home team during his illness.

Two members of the Arval team, who are more familiar with the intricacies of managing company cars and vans, took on additional sporting challenges that pushed their endurance to the limit. Joel Lund took part in a 12 hour solo 72 mile ultra-marathon, raising a £1,363, while Garry Mountjoy and his spinners cycled the equivalent distance of Lands’ End to John O’Groats on a spin bike, peddling their way to raising £337.

Mr Birch lived in and his widow Jayne said: "I am so touched that Arval chose to remember Chris in this way. Last year St Richard’s Hospice offered us both invaluable practical and emotional support at this very difficult time and I am delighted that we have been able to give something back so that other people who are very ill and their families can also benefit from the care and compassion we received.”

Jodi Brandwood, community fundraiser for St Richard’s, added: "The team have really pulled together to raise such a fantastic amount of money for the hospice. Our Hospice at Home service is very much in demand and we are currently expanding our community based support to help more patients and their families.”