Old and new walkers are being invited to join The Hospice of St Francis’ Midnight Walk as it returns to Hemel Hempstead with two new and exciting, candlelit routes to choose from.
The night time challenge, which has attracted thousands of walkers since it began more than a decade ago, is taking place on Saturday June 16. For the first time, parts of the route will be illuminated by candlelight as walkers make their way around the town.
An illuminated ‘magical wood’ in the grounds of Abbots Hill School, will give walkers a chance to make a wish under twinkling lights before glowing neon bright in the ultra violet chill out zone.
All walkers are being encouraged to carry tea light lanterns as they make their way along the route. The lanterns will then be placed together at the end of the walk as a symbol of the care and support the Hospice offers patients and their families.
The first to sign up was local mum-of-three, Emma Young, 39, from Hemel Hempstead, who has been supported by the Hospice since being diagnosed with breast cancer nearly four years ago.
Emma said she feels ‘lucky’ that she and her three children, Gracie, 18, Louis, 13 and Daisy, 11 have had the care and support of the Hospice, particularly from Community Nurse Julie Brown, who Emma contacts whenever she needs additional support.
“I’ve signed up to the Midnight Walk because I have experienced first-hand just how supportive the Hospice is and I like to give a little back for the care that both my children and I have received. I also feel like I’m paying it forward for support I will need in the future,” she said.
“The Midnight Walk is a great opportunity to get all your girlfriends together, have a gossip and raise money at the same time.”
The fun begins at 9pm at Hemel Hempstead School when registration opens before walkers embark on their chosen route at 10pm. At the finish line all walkers are rewarded with a finisher’s medal, a hot cuppa and cake.
More than 8,500 people have walked 78,780 miles at night between them to raise £1,211,852.88 for local hospice care since the event began in 2006.
Nicky Maxwell-Braithwaite, Event Organiser at The Hospice of St Francis, said: “Whether people take part for fun, for fitness or in memory of a loved one, the Midnight Walk is a chance to get together with friends and family for a Saturday night out with a difference, while raising vital funds to help the Hospice continue to support patients and families.
“We’re really excited to be bringing Midnight Walk back to Hemel Hempstead this year. There is always an amazing atmosphere as everyone gathers together to walk through the night to raise money for a good cause – and this year’s event promises to be no different.
“We hope the changes we’ve made to the route will make the event even more enjoyable. All walkers are guaranteed to come away with special memories and a glowing sense of achievement.”
Each year the Hospice needs to raise over £5million to provide free care and support to over 2,000 people affected by life-limiting illnesses across Herts and Bucks. By raising just £50, participants could help fund a specialist nurse to visit a patient in their own home.
Registration is open with tickets priced at £20 for Adults and £15 for 10-17’s. To sign up and for top fundraising tips visit www.stfrancis.org.uk/midnightwalk