More than 850 people joined St Mary’s Walk to Remember on Friday night and their efforts look set to raise more than £45,000!
We are celebrating our 30th anniversary year with our biggest ever number of supporters taking part in the Walk to Remember, with a whopping 850+ taking part!! On Friday 5th July, hundreds of families and friends joined the much loved fundraising event with its ten mile route, from Ulverston to Barrow, with many walking in memory of loved ones cared for by the Hospice to raise vital funds for St Mary’s.
Sponsored by Orsted the evening began at Ulverston Better Leisure Centre with the vocal talents of Lorraine Kafanke and Denis Horan, a fantastic dance display by Dance Active and Elite Dance and Fitness. There was magic in the air supplied by supporters and on the ground by Lakes Wedding magicians! With special Walk T-shirts and selfie boards, a photo booth, face painting, all creating the perfect atmosphere. Boosted by a fun warm up led by local fitness instructor, and our Area Fundraiser Clare Paling.
Mel Dixon, St Mary’s Events and Challenges Fundraiser events gave an emotional speech thanking walkers for their support as they set off on their challenge:
Mel said in her speech: “St Mary’s is a very special place with a dedicated team who work tirelessly every single day AND night to ensure that our patients and their families feel loved and supported whilst in our care. St Marys has been making the difference that matters most for 30 years BUT we can only continue to be special due to generous people like yourselves, so thanks to each and every one of you. By supporting us, you’re part of making that difference too.
But I have saved the most important message until last. Tonight is all about you and remembering your loved ones. Each and every one of you will have a story behind why you have joined us here tonight, I hope we have created an environment that allows you all to share, reflect and most importantly smile.”
Off we go
After an official countdown, at 8pm the walkers were lead out to the amazing sounds of Boom Dang – creating a carnival feel to the start of the walk. The next stop was Charnleys Home & Garden, Dalton, who generously provided facilities and refreshments, with Tesco Barrow Community donating healthy snacks too. Walkers were looked after by volunteer marshals and cheered on by St Mary’s care staff at check points.
Walkers crossed the finishing line at Furness Academy – under a fabulous balloon arch donated by Robert Kitchin from Inspirations, Ulverston – and were warmly greeted by hospice staff and volunteers, and received a medal to mark their incredible achievement. Furness Academy also provided delicious snacks and a welcome rest for weary feet!
Making a difference
Last year the Walk to Remember generated an amazing £48,000 with 750 supporters taking part. We provide free care and support for patients, their families and carers within the hospice, at home or in a community setting. Though St Mary’s care and services are free of charge to the community, they are not free to provide and that’s where we need its supporters and key events like the Walk to generate vital funds. Especially in its landmark 30th anniversary year to help reach even more people.
St Mary’s will share the final amount raised later in the year when all the sponsorship money is presented. Mel adds: “The community support for this event is fantastic – the atmosphere was brilliant and all of our supporters have done so well with their fundraising. Every penny will help us to make a difference. Please remember to pay in your sponsorship money. You can pay it in online, or drop it in to us at the hospice. Thank you all for your wonderful support. And we look forward to seeing you next year!”
St Mary’s were also keen to extend their thanks to: Robert Larkin, Cake Events, Furness First Aid Association, David Thompson Cumbria Police and Ulverston hero Peter Winston! And its community for enabling the hospice to host such a large scale event.