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Fitness tribute to gym instructor raises more than £3,000
Fitness instructor Vicki Browne was a star to everyone who knew her and she shone most brightly when she was leading her high-energy gym classes.
Before Vicki, 47, sadly lost her battle with a brain tumour in May, she told her colleagues at the three gyms where she worked, that she didn't want a public funeral.
Instead, she asked them to fundraise for the Hospice as it had cared for her and supported her husband Colin and their young son Sonny.
The following month staff at Stock Brook Country Club in Stock, Everyone Active in Hornchurch and David Lloyd in Chigwell, fulfilled her wish and raised more than £3,000 when they each held an emotionally charged event to celebrate her life.
There was also lots of laughter as staff and members, many of whom became close friends with Vicki, remembered the funny, kind and courageous woman who loved life. Pic: Vicki Browne
And while Vicki may have been a fitness pro, she always had time for a chat over a cup of coffee and a slice of cake and after all the work outs to her favourite tracks, everyone came together to enjoy a sweet treat in her memory!
"It was an amazing day and I know this is exactly what Vicki wanted," said Natalie Diss, an instructor at Stock Brook Country Club.
"She was an inspiration to us all.
"Even when she was really ill, she would still come to her pump class and she was still teaching up until a few months before she passed away."
In April Vicki was referred to our Specialist Community and Crisis Support Services and she was visited by one of its Community Nurse Specialists.
Pic: Instructors and clients at Stock Brook Country Club
Vicki also wanted to spend her final days at home with her family by her side and she was able to do so with the support of the charity's Hospice at Home team.
Everyone Active held the second event - a Dawn till Dusk Bike Ride - and staff and members collectively cycled 591km.
Helen Cornhill took the first class at sunrise on the summer solstice - which was full at 4.43am.
And Catherine O'Brien-Passfield, who had been friends with Vicki for 18 years, said, "Vicki didn't want a public funeral as she felt her husband and son had been through enough over the last six years.
"We organised this event together. Pic: Everyone Active
She wanted to ask people to ride a bike, have a coffee, cake and raise money for charity.
"There were people in the classes who had known Vicki since she was a member 18 years ago and some came to classes in the morning and returned again in the evening."
Claire Bloom organised a two-hour spinathon at David Lloyd and was overwhelmed by the generosity of the members who came along to support the gym's efforts.
"Vicki would have loved it," said Claire.
"We played her favourite tracks, wore coloured leggings and had vests made with a diamonte V down the middle.
Pic: Spin class at David Lloyd
"This was very much about celebrating Vicki's life.
"I don't think she ever really appreciated how much people loved her and it is wonderful to see so many people come out and do this in her honour."
More photos from the events!