Hundreds of supporters of the central Lancashire hospice will be gathering on Saturday evening (June 18) in the gardens of St Catherine’s Park at Lostock Hall to set off on the popular Moonlight and Memories walk.
The 10K sponsored challenge in memory of loved ones is open to everyone and begins at 8pm. Participants can register over the phone until Friday by calling 01772 629171.
The Covid pandemic meant that for the past two years the walk was held virtually but now organisers say they’re delighted “it’s coming home”.
Inpatient unit nurse Sister Barbara Sutton, who has taken part in the night-time trek many times, said: "It’s always a good feeling of anticipation when the walk starts from St Catherine’s as the hospice is the reason so many people support the event; to raise funds and to remember those who have been cared for here.”
She continued: “The patients and staff on duty enjoy seeing everyone getting ready, and they feel very much involved in the occasion as well. The excitement is palpable as supporters arrive. We get to know patients’ relatives very well during their time here, and they always acknowledge us on the night when they take part in the walk; it means a lot to see them again and catch up.”
She added: “People go to great lengths to dress up, and it’s lovely to read the many messages written on t-shirts as you walk along, and hear people talking together about their experiences. There is a real feeling of togetherness when walking alongside those who have been helped by the hospice at very emotional times in their lives.”
Barbara also paid tribute to those who support the event by cheering on walkers. She said: “The walk itself is a great experience as people cheer us on and shout words of encouragement along the way, even sitting in deck chairs outside their homes, waiting for us all to pass by and sometimes even offering us refreshments. The breakfast sandwiches back at the hospice are always a very welcome sight too. Everyone is in good spirits and we all wander home tired but elated at our achievements.”
Emma Jacovelli, head of community engagement at St Catherine’s, added: “We know how much it means for our communities to come together at the hospice for this very special occasion, and we’re looking forward to seeing everyone again for a fantastic night to remember.”
There are 800 places available on the walk and Emma said: “Raising funds as part of #Team800 in honour of our loved ones will ensure our doctors and nurses can continue to care for our family, friends and neighbours today, tomorrow and in the future.”
Registration is £15 for adults and £10 for children, which includes a t-shirt and medal. Any sponsorship raised helps fund specialist palliative and end-of-life care by St Catherine’s at the hospice and in people’s own homes and ongoing emotional and bereavement support to patients’ families.
*Supporters who prefer to do their own version of the sponsored walk this summer can register for the hospice’s Moonlight and Memories Walk – your own way’ challenge on the hospice’s website see www.stcatherines.co.uk/shop/events/hospice-fundraising/moonlight-and-memories-walk-2022-your-own-way/