A GROUP of residents have raised more than double their planned fundraising target after a 15-mile charity walk.

The team, who know each other through a weight loss group, raised £1,028 for the British Heart Foundation in memory of one of the member’s partner.

The group have said they are “extremely proud” of their achievement as they have smashed their original fundraising target of £500.

The charitable challenge was decided upon following the death of Nicky McGovern’s partner, Jason Hathaway, who died in March of a heart attack.

She said: “It was very unexpected in every way as Jason was reasonably healthy and only 49.

“Jason was a father to four girls; Zoe, Jade-Roxanne, Phoebe and Georgia and also was grandfather to four.

“Since his death Phoebe and I have recently started cycling in a bid to keep our hearts healthy.

“Jason was a taxi driver for Andover Cars and he was very popular with his colleagues and customers and also outside of work.

“The loss of Jason was a massive shock to everyone that knew him and will be forever missed.”

One of the couple’s daughters, Phoebe, also took part of the walk and despite being only 13-years-old completed twothirds of the trek.

The walkers planned the four stage route themselves and finished it in five hours.

The completed a round trip from Picket Piece Village Hall via The George Inn at St Mary Bourne, Whitchurch Silk Mill and St Mary Bourne cross roads.

Michelle Young, who planned the route, said: “For me, charity treks are something I used to do years ago as a thinner, fitter person.

“I missed the buzz and the camaraderie that comes with a big challenge like that.

“I saw this as an opportunity to get that feeling back and to spur other people in the group to join me and what better way to boost our weight losses and to support new found friends Nicky and Phoebe?

“I wouldn’t have been able to do 15 miles 12 to 18 months ago - far too unfit and overweight.

“Having such a lovely group support me has put me back in the right place.”