Over 550 walkers step out at St Catherine’s Hospice Midnight Walk
Published: 13 Sep 2022
St Catherine’s Hospice Midnight Walk returned to Horsham on Saturday night (3 September).
Over 550 people made their steps count by walking 2, 7, 13 or 20 miles to raise money for local people facing death and bereavement.
After a break because of coronavirus the local charity’s popular Midnight Walk gave people a chance to collectively walk in support of their local hospice or in memory of a loved one. And their efforts are set to raise an incredible £80,000.
The night began at The Bridge Leisure Centre with music, a glitter station and a lively warm up by international fitness presenter, Jo Michaels.
Following the warm up there were heartfelt speeches from Becky Coultrip, a St Catherine’s staff member who also has personal experience of the hospice’s care and Giles Tomsett, St Catherine's Chief Executive.
Becky said, “It was an honour to speak to and send off our Midnight Walkers. It’s only thanks to their support that I and my colleagues can care for people when it’s needed most. I know personally what a difference their steps and fundraising will make after my mum, sister and cousin all died at the hospice. I know from personal experience how much kindness and care matters when you’re facing the death of someone you love.”
To cheers from volunteer marshals’ walkers set off in a sea of orange and neon. They enjoyed a glow lane down Harding Lane and were encouraged to light a lantern in a loved one’s memory if they felt they wanted to at Horsham Youth Club.
Amongst the walkers was 35-year-old Elodie Chatel. Speaking before she set off, she said, “It’s my second time doing the 20 mile Midnight Walk route. I’m walking in memory of my friend and family members who’ve passed away with cancer. I’m most looking forward to finishing and meeting others on route.”
After completing their challenge, walkers crossed the finishing line to cheers from hospice staff and volunteers. Walkers then enjoyed refreshments and prosecco whilst wearing their medals. Sarah Clapp and Claire Treen volunteered to welcome walkers back to breakfast treats. Sarah said, “I enjoy volunteering for the Midnight Walk as much as I enjoy walking it. I love encouraging walkers and doing my part. I can relate to people who are walking in memory of someone special as my Mum passed away under the hospice’s care too. These events couldn’t happen without volunteers and we feel part of a family when we help. We’re made to feel so welcome and there’s so much gratitude from everyone for our help.” Claire added, “We love the hospice, it’s invaluable to give back and it’s no time really for us to give up, but it’s time that provides something vital to the hospice.”
Louise Wise, Fundraiser at St Catherine’s, said: “To see over 550 people walking to support our hospice was incredible. We’re so grateful to each of them for giving up sleep to support us. Their efforts in raising money for our hospice, after a challenging couple of years, mean we can continue to provide the best possible care and support to our community now and in the future at our new hospice in Pease Pottage. I’d also like to thank our over 100 amazing volunteers. We couldn’t have run the Midnight Walk without their help. It was an amazing night!”
To find out how you can take part in future challenges for St Catherine's, please visit: www.stch.org.uk
Photogprahy credit - Makki