St Catherine’s Hospice Midnight Walk hit Horsham Park on Saturday (2 July) when nearly 400 beach themed beauties walked through the night in aid of their local hospice.
The ninth ladies only Midnight Walk, put the ‘fun’ into fundraising with coloured jellyfish, palm trees and deckchairs surrounding the marquee, a warm up by international fitness presenter and fitness model, Jo Cooper and a photo booth to capture the atmosphere.
Walkers were also spurred on by inspiring speeches from St Catherine’s night nurses and walker Lisa Jarvis who took part in memory of her mum, Rita.
Donning beach themed attire including hula hula skirts, lei’s, armbands and rubber rings, walkers entered into the summer spirit as they took on seven or 13 miles, and for the most ambitious, a 20 mile walking route. The ladies were rewarded for their fantastic efforts with a celebratory breakfast and medal at the finish line.
Amongst the walkers were Megan, Joanne and Rebecca from Crawley. Megan said: “It’s my first Midnight Walk and I’m walking 20 miles in memory of my Uncle.” Joanne added: “I work in an assisted living care home and have friends who’ve got cancer or had cancer so I understand the importance of the work the hospice does.”
Friends, Sarah Clapp and Claire Treen from Crawley were also taking part. Taking on the 13 mile route, Sarah said: “Six years ago my mum was cared for at home by St Catherine’s. It’s the second year I’ve taken part and I do it in memory of my mum and for the fantastic work the hospice does for everyone. St Catherine’s always organises their events well and makes them fun and for me, it doesn’t matter what time I walk it in, it’s just about doing it.”
Claire added: “I’ve had cancer but I’m a survivor. For me, I feel blessed to have come out on the other side. I’ve seen what St Catherine’s does to support other people so I’m walking despite having a knee operation just eight weeks ago.”
Each year St Catherine’s needs to raise £6 million in voluntary donations to provide their free care to local people facing a terminal illness, and their families and friends. Sponsorship raised from the Midnight Walk will go a long way towards reaching that total with the walk predicted to raise an amazing £80,000 for the hospice.
Louise Brown, Events Fundraiser at St Catherine’s, said: “Seeing so many women ditch their beauty sleep to walk throughout the night was truly inspiring. Each and everyone of them did us proud and we’re so grateful for their support. Their amazing efforts will make a real difference to all those we care for and I’d also like to thank the 100 brilliant volunteers who gave up their sleep to help cheer our walkers on. We couldn’t be there to provide our vital care without them!”
This year’s walk was sponsored by Assurity Consulting, who provided the photo booth. Suzanne Clarkson-Lewis, Marketing Manager at Assurity Consulting, said: “As a growing organisation we were delighted to support such a wonderful cause within our community.”