THEY’RE as Good as Gold: Buskers, swimmers, runners and divers – these are just some of the fundraisers who have Gone for Gold and made a Dorset charity’s campaign a resounding success.

With money still being collected, it is estimated that more than £8,000 has been raised for the Weldmar Hospicecare Trust, through the Go for Gold campaign.

Dozens of readers set themselves challenges to complete throughout the summer with inspiration being drawn from Dorset’s landscape, personal circumstances and the Olympics .

Matt Smith, events and challenges fundraiser for the charity, paid tribute to everyone who has been involved.

He said: “I would like to thank each and every person who has supported out Go for Gold campaign throughout the summer.

“I have been amazed by the variety of challenges that people have completed and the amount of money that each individual has raised.

“This money will go towards helping patients and their families in their time of need, throughout Dorset.”

He added: “I would also like to say a special thank you to the Dorset Echo, who have supported this event throughout.”

At just 12 years old, Francesca House was the youngest fundraiser, collecting £330 for her mile-long sponsored swim.

And Oliver Brewer and Max Blaff-Laker, both 13, played their part by busking in the streets of Dorchester .

Tom McDonald, 17, drew on the strength of the Paralympians to run between Weymouth and Dorchester every day for a week, and Portlander Tim Ellis was inspired by his role as a torchbearer.

Some joined forces with friends, kicking a football along the Jurassic Coast from Worth Matravers to Weymouth. Others, like Sheree Tebbutt, overcame enormous physical and organisational obstacles to complete their challenges.

All spoke about the vital work of the charity, and the kindness of its staff, with many fundraisers completing challenges in memory of relatives, friends and colleagues.

Dorset Echo group editor Toby Granville said: “The generosity and fundraising efforts of our readers never fails to amaze me.

“I am delighted that through everyone’s fantastic fundraising efforts, the Weldmar Go for Gold campaign in association with the Dorset Echo was a phenomenal success.”

The campaign will be wrapped up with an awards ceremony on October 26.

Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes will be on hand a the ceremony to present the fundraisers with their awards.

Supporters: ‘We All Need To Support This Charity’

ALTHOUGH the Go for Gold campaign has now come to an end, supporters of the charity are emphasising the need for continued support.

In a plea to Dorset Echo readers, Paul Bartlett, of Fiddleford, Sturminster Newton, explains why it is so important.

He said: “My wife Ingrid recently passed away at the Joseph Weld Hospice after a fight with cancer that lasted over 20 years.

“I feel honoured and privileged to have spent some time with the most wonderful people in the world, namely the staff.

“I found the place full of warmth, compassion, happiness and light.

“The dedication and love shown to the patients by the staff, be they doctors, nurses, catering, administration, cleaning or maintenance, is something that I will never forget.

“My wife was in the hospice for a month and a day. Her condition aside, I would look forward to visiting her every day knowing that she was receiving the best care possible.

“We all need to support this charity, as you may be a patient one day and receive the love and care of the angels at Joseph Weld.

“Please, please, please make a donation.”

For information about fundraising, call Matt Smith on 01305 261800.