Marathon effort for Snettisham hospice

When Christopher Green lost his husband Ben in October last year he decided to take up running.

The comedy writer and performer said pounding the pavement allowed him to 'switch off' and to grieve the loss of his partner Ben.

But now he is using his trainers to raise money for a Norfolk charity which helped his husband before he died.

He said: 'I am running the London Marathon this year to raise money for The Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House.

'When I started running it seemed that my body needed to run to turn down my brain and allow the grieving to happen.

'So it seems fitting that I use this new activity to raise money as a way of showing gratitude towards an organisation which helped us when we most needed it.

'Towards the end of Ben's live he wanted to live in Norfolk, but we were nervous of leaving behind the hospice support we had in London.

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'But when I phoned Tapping House, they told me whatever we needed they could help us. It was hard to ask but so wonderful to receive with such generosity.

'I also now know that Tapping House only receives 11pc of their funding from the NHS so everything else comes from fundraising.'

Mr Green said Ben's death has also started to be reflected in his work, particularly a new collection of songs called Carrying Lead which were premiered at Sydney Opera House last month.

He continued: 'Ben was diagnosed with cancer in November 2007 and died 20 months later.

'I often felt that nothing in my life up to that point of in our 14-and-a- half years of love had prepared me for his being taken from me.

'A few months after his death, I started to write songs and they came steadily, surely and strangely effortlessly.

'They seem to have stopped now but, who knows, grief is a strange land and I'm sure I am bound to encounter this territory again soon where I need some musical orientation again.

'I was not surprised to see that the songs were about profound loss but delighted that they are also about joy.

'They are about depression, jokes, and the complete uselessness of self-pity as a strategy.

'They are also about hope and moving forwards without fear. After all, if the worst thing that can happen to you, happens to you, aren't you oddly invincible?'

Mr Green is also backing the Great Norfolk Dinner Party which is being launched today and will run for two weeks to raise funds for The Norfolk Hospice.

The Snettisham-based charity wants people to throw a dinner party using the menus and recipes provided to them by TV chef Galton Blackiston, Michelin star owners Kevin and Jacki Mangeolles, from The Neptune Restaurant, in Old Hunstanton, and Chris Coubrough, from Flying Kiwi.

Charity fundraiser Amanda Standen said the menus and recipes cater for all abilities from the enthusiastic beginner to the aspiring accomplished chef.

She said: 'Invite your friends and colleagues to enjoy a dinner party with diners making a donation at the end of the evening to the hospice relating to how much they think the experience was worth.'

The hospice is hoping to raise thousands of pounds to help continue its work providing palliative care for people with cancer, neurological and other life-limiting conditions.

Mrs Standen added there are also a number of restaurants who are supporting the event and have agreed to give Tapping House a percentage of their profits from lunch or dinner.

For details of which restaurants are taking part in the event or to order an information and recipe pack, visit