“No matter who you walk with or why you are walking, the community spirit is amazing!”
St Catherine’s Hospice biggest fundraising event of the year, Midnight Walk, is just a few days away now! More than 800 people have already signed up for the event which is taking place in Horsham on Saturday 8 June. And there’s still time to make your steps count by joining them! Here, Sheila Feasey who walked in memory of her Husband, Martin, last year, tells us more about why the night is so special to her.
“My Husband, Martin, was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in July 2017. He initially began receiving outpatient care from St Catherine’s Hospice, but his prognosis was short and he knew that when the time came he wanted to be cared for in the hospice.
Martin already knew about St Catherine’s due to his local knowledge of the area from his work as a taxi driver. He was familiar with the journey to St Catherine’s too, and always felt that dropping customers off here was particularly poignant as for some it could be their last journey.
After Martin’s diagnosis, one of the nurses started visiting us at home and their 24 hour phone service was invaluable whenever we needed advice or support. Once the time came, Martin spent four nights at the hospice.
The staff looked after him so well and made sure that whenever I needed to leave his side, they were there with him. It brought me great comfort knowing that Martin was never alone.
After Martin’s death, St Catherine’s Midnight Walk felt like a challenging but achievable event to take part in. Martin passed away in February 2018 and we decided to sign up as a big family group for the 13 mile route in June 2018. It was still very raw but it was a way to channel my emotions, as well as to look after myself and focus on my physical wellness.
I have walked in a group and solo, and have really enjoyed both, but one of my favourite things about the Midnight Walk is spending time with relatives who I don’t often get to see a lot of. I have also walked the Midnight Walk both as a personal challenge to myself in earlier years and in memory last year. But no matter who you walk with or why you are walking, the community spirit is amazing! I can’t wait to take part again this year.
Some people get worried about fundraising for events, but you don’t need to worry about that with the Midnight Walk. It’s great to raise funds for St Catherine’s, but even if you simply pay the registration fee and wear their orange t-shirt with pride, you are still supporting and promoting the hospice and the work that they do. I usually raise money for the Midnight Walk through sponsorship, and my top tips would be to share the link to your fundraising page via email, and to make sure you give people regular updates on how much you have left to raise and how close you are to reaching your target.
I would say to anyone thinking of taking part in the Midnight Walk to just go for it! Whether you are doing it as a personal challenge or in memory of someone, it’s for such a great cause. Life is all about experiences; something Martin always encouraged. Martin didn’t get his retirement so I am doing it for the both of us and I am proud to be taking part in the Midnight Walk for him.
Sponsored by Gatwick Airport, this year’s walk has a brand new 2 mile family friendly route alongside existing 7, 13 or 20 mile walking routes, so everyone can join in.
You can walk as an individual or a group, in memory of someone you love, or for a personal challenge. But whatever your reason for walking you’ll be guaranteed a great night!
Ready to join this inspiring night? Sign up online at: www.stch.org.uk/midnightwalk or call St Catherine’s Events Team on 01293 447355. Entry costs £15 and all entry fees include a free T-shirt, finisher’s breakfast and medal.
Let’s go further, together – sign up now.