HAVENS Hospices have apologised to Adventure Island boss Philip Miller for the personal abuse he received in response to the cancellation of the Southend Marathon.

The Southend Run to Remember was cancelled earlier this year after Southend Council refused permission.

As a result, angry members of the public directed personal insults towards Mr Miller, chief executive of Stockvale, the group behind Adventure Island.

The charity’s director of fundraising, Vanessa Longley, has written to Mr Miller to apologise on behalf of Havens Hospice.

The letter states that the charity wishes all abuse and attacks on seafront traders stops immediately.

Mr Miller said: “We are incredibly grateful to Havens Hospices for showing support to Stockvale in his manner - it has been a very difficult and unpleasant time for us. I hope we can all draw a line under this matter now and get on with working together for the good of Southend.”

The full letter:

Dear Philip, On behalf of Havens Hospices, I want to say how appalled we are at the unwarranted personal abuse you have received on social media after the cancellation of the Southend Run to Remember Marathon.

These types of personal insults can never be condoned. Nothing justifies this behaviour.

The level of vilification and blame the seafront traders and you personally have received in this matter is unwarranted, unreasonable and unfair. We want it to stop.

We apologise that some people are using our event to excuse this abuse. We know you share our passion for the amazing care we provide.

Through your generous support and donations over many years and the way you have opened up Adventure Island and the Sealife Adventure to the children and families of Little Havens, you have been a very good friend to the hospice.

You and the Seafront Traders Association therefore had every reason to have expected us to discuss our detailed plans for the marathon with you following our initial conversations, and it is with real regret this did not happen. Sadly we are not immune from making mistakes.

The plans we thought were in place failed and I apologise that as a result you were left with inadequate information. This is my responsibility.

In looking to the future, I want to assure you we are committed to having more face-to-face conversations with you, and your fellow seafront traders, to ensure this does not happen again.

I am truly sorry these events have created such a breach in our relationship. My hope is this letter will go some way to help rebuild it.

VANESSA LONGLEY Director of fundraising, Havens Hospices