THE FINISH line is in sight with a huge £86,000 already raised under the 160 Appeal – right on schedule.

Adver readers’ resolve has been strengthening over the weeks, and a recent wave of donations have propelled the grand total from a respectable £50,000 past the halfway mark in a matter of days.

Whether raised through skydives, Arctic or Sahara treks, raffles, balls or office challenges, funds have been pouring in at a welcome pace, placing the Adver and Prospect Hospice closer to securing an extra £160,000 towards nursing care.

Adver editor Gary Lawrence said: “We are right on schedule, which is absolutely fantastic. We would like to thank our readers for their continued support. They have really outdone themselves and we are extremely grateful.

“This really shows what we can achieve as a community for such a worthy charity. We are not resting on our laurels and we know we still have a long way to go to reach our £160,000 target, but I am confident we can do it, especially if people continue to sign up to challenges, raise money at work or simply send donations.

“Prospect Hospice is a valued charity in the town. Last year alone they cared for more than 5,000 people – both patients and their families. But the next few years will be a challenge for staff.

“With an ageing and growing population they will need our help more than ever before to ensure each patient and their families are well looked after. This is why the appeal is so important.”

Dozens of local groups, businesses, schools and individuals, and the Adver editorial and advertising departments themselves, have rallied behind the appeal since its launch in February, signing up to an array of physical challenges, organising their own fun fundraisers and exploring quirky ways to secure donations.

A handful of fundraisers have even taken the drastic step of shearing their long locks in a show of support for people suffering from life-limiting illness in Swindon, raising £3,000 between them for the campaign.

Angela Jordan, Prospect Hospice chief executive, said: “Our congratulations to Gary Lawrence and all the team at the Swindon Advertiser for reaching the halfway point of their ambitious appeal target.

“Everyone at Prospect Hospice really appreciates all the effort that the Adver team have put into getting to this point, both with their own fundraising and in telling the stories to inspire others to support the appeal. They have led the appeal by example, and it is making a real difference to the experience of the patients and families we care for and support at Prospect Hospice.

“I also want to thank everyone who has supported the appeal through their own fundraising since it was launched at the start of the year.”.