Iris Holt’s 20-Year Journey with Rowans Hospice Charity

September 26th, 2023 Posted in Blog
Iris Holt

For nearly two decades, Iris Holt has been a steadfast champion for Rowans, demonstrating unwavering dedication in her mission. Her tireless efforts have helped to raise an impressive total of £11,903.47 raised for the Charity. Recently, Iris embarked on an exhilarating challenge – a daring descent down the iconic Spinnaker Tower through abseiling, adding another £1,161.30 to her remarkable fundraising tally.

Iris’ connection with Rowans traces back to an encounter at the age of 70 when she crossed paths with the indomitable Doris Long. In 2014, Doris achieved global recognition as the oldest abseiler in the world, accomplishing this feat on her centenary birthday. The impact of this extraordinary meeting, combined with Iris’ deep emotional bond with the Charity, ignited her journey as a dedicated fundraiser in 2006.

In her reminiscences, Iris shares a nostalgic tale of her youth spent in Purbrook. The very land where the Hospice now stands was once her cherished meadow for picnics. As life unfolded, Iris moved away, built a family, and continued the tradition of picnics with her children, bringing them to the same meadow. Witnessing the evolution of the Hospice’s construction, Iris recognized its vital role in the local community.

Reflecting on her visits to Rowans, Iris shares;

When I first started fundraising and I came to visit, I realized how wonderful it is. I always get happy vibes when I come here, it is not all doom and gloom.

Taking her commitment to new heights, Iris has not only completed daring sponsored tandem skydives but has also fearlessly descended from the lofty heights of the Spinnaker Tower multiple times. With an affinity for heights, her goal is straightforward yet profound: to continue embracing challenges and pushing boundaries for as long as she can.

Deeply aware of the pivotal role of any donation inbuilding the sustainability of the Charity, Iris has a compelling reason for choosing Rowans as her cause;

I realized that if it wasn’t for donations, places like this aren’t supported by the government. Hospices are so important for our community. And that’s why I chose Rowans, and because of sentimental feelings for the area.

Beyond the financial contribution, Iris makes a powerful statement through her endeavours. She dons a distinctive polar bear costume during her challenges, symbolizing her unwavering commitment. Her conviction is clear: “Just as polar bears face endangerment, so do Hospices. Our efforts today shape their future.” Iris Holt embodies the spirit of determination and compassion, standing as a beacon of hope and support for Rowans Hospice.

Have you felt inspired to undertake a fundraising challenge for Rowans? Please do get in touch with us via You can also explore our upcoming charity events by visiting for more details.

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