Let’s all do the conga for St Michael’s Hospice

The conga attempt
The conga attempt
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A team from Hastings Runners, led by Nigel Thornely, set a new world record for Longest Distance Danced in a Conga Line for charity.

The attempt was done to raise funds for St Leonards-based St Michael’s Hospice, which was badly damaged by fire earlier in the year.

The team smashed the existing world record of 5.487km, by dancing a total of 11.2km around the William Parker running track on Saturday.

The dance lasted two-and-a-half hours and was completed in festive fancy dress.

The record attempt was part of Nigel’s Advent Challenge, which involves him running 10km every day from December 1 to 23 and then running a marathon around Hastings on Christmas Eve, with the aim of raising more than £1,000 for St Michael’s Hospice.

Nigel said: “I would like to thank all who have supported me with his challenge, and all who completed the conga record with me. I would also like to express my gratitude to those who witnessed and recorded the event to enable the record to be verified.

“The hospice provides such a valuable service to the local community and I am really pleased that I am able to help in some small way.

The fire broke out in the early hours of July 11, with scores of patients having to be evacuated to safety.

Nearly Leolyn Nursing Home offered alternative accommodation for those affected. Two people died as a result of the fire, namely David Denness, 81, who was a patient at the hospice, and Jill Moon, 62.

The man charged with starting the fatal fire at St Michael’s Hospice died in prison in October.

Rodney Smith, of Quarry Hill, St Leonards, was accused of arson with intent to endanger life after the fire in July.

The 67-year-old was a terminally-ill patient at the hospice at the time of the blaze.

The community was quick to rally around to help St Michael’s Hospice within days after the devastating fire, with several fundraising events being launched by kind-hearted individuals.

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