Runners are doing their last bit of exercise before attempting the British 10km run through London on Sunday, to raise money for adults with learning difficulties.

Surbiton-based Fircroft Trust expects to knock down the derelict White Hart in Hook within weeks, to make way for a new purpose-built home for its residents.

The former pub has become an eyesore after vandals ripped down parts of the surrounding fence and smashed up the boarded up premises.

Susannah Horwood from Fircroft apologised to Hook residents. She said: “We completely understand their frustration, we really do.

“It was just exorbitant to hoard it up. It was so expensive so we have done our best and we have got a handyman who goes there and replaces boards every day.

“We are so sad by the level of vandalism. Residents have been so supportive so far. Please bear with us for another couple of weeks.”

She promised hoarding would be put up when the pub is demolished.

Surrey Comet chief reporter David Lindsell will be one of 24 runners hauling himself out of his comfy couch to run 10km for the Fircroft Trust on Sunday in the 10th British London Run.

Fircroft Trust carer Liz Willis and mental health worker Charlotte Norcup are also running for the charity, cheered on by the residents.

Mr Lindsell said: “I don’t normally do this sort of thing but it’s such a privilege to run for the great group of people who I met at Fircroft.

“For me, this is about the value we put on some of the most vulnerable members of society - who also happen to be great, fun people.

“I’ve got my iPod soundtrack ready to help me around the track so hopefully I will still be in one piece to watch the World Cup final after the race.”

To sponsor him and support Fircroft go to or call the newsdesk on 020 8330 9547.

For more information about the Building Potential Appeal visit

- A New Malden Club Gold Day held by the Rotary Club in May raised £2,500 for Fircroft Trust, with Alan Vincent, president of the club, presenting a cheque to fundraiser Susannah Horwood and trustees Maurice and Stella Chattle in the trust’s garden last Thursday.