Thank you to our supporters, walkers and donors for contributing to our third Walk for Hope, raising almost £15,000 for local people living with cancer. Our flagship fundraising event, usually held in the New Forest in June, was adapted and postponed till Sunday 6th September, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event took on a different format, Walk for Hope Your Way, with walkers signing up five, ten or 20 miles. ‘Your Way’ meant that the event could be completed alone or in a group with friends and family, choosing your route, at your own pace and wherever you wanted.
King of the Jungle and Wessex Cancer Trust’s patron, Harry Redknapp, was there to help us promote the virtual event. Harry signed a T-shirt as a prize for our top fundraiser, along with a message to encourage supporters to virtually clock up 2,5000 miles as a team by completing 20 laps of a route linking our four Cancer Support Centres in Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight. Thank you, Harry Redknapp, for continuing to support the charity.
On the day, over 100 registered walkers took to the paths, roads and seafronts of Hampshire, Dorset, Isle Of Wight and beyond, even as far as Spain and France. One of those groups was ‘Nikki’s Angels’, a group of eight friends, walking in memory of their beloved friend, Nikki Piper, who passed away earlier this year aged 37. The group walked five miles around Dinton, near Salisbury, a city where many of the group spent time with Nikki, raising over £1,600.
Nikki’s husband James, said: “A big thank you to everyone who contributed to our fundraising walk. It was a lovely opportunity to get together (socially distanced, of course) and did something positive in memory of our beautiful girl Nikki.”
One participant, Barry Haynes, really did go with the theme of ‘Your Way’ by completing his 5-mile walk dressed as a mermaid. Barry’s ‘The Mermaid Walk’ raised over £500, in memory of his son Christopher. Well done, Barry!
Our very own Mark Ellis, the Trust’s Retail Manager, completed his 5 miles Walk for Hope Your Way on a poignant anniversary. Mark explains ‘It was exactly 12 years to the day, that I experienced a stroke that initially paralysed my left side and almost killed me. I still have mobility issues and have a support splint on my ankle, have left side weakness and am paralysed in my left foot. Still, I was determined to do this walk as a personal acknowledgement of how far I’ve come since 2008.”
Irwin Mitchell Solicitors sponsored the event. Solicitor, Alice Doherty, said:
“Irwin Mitchell has supported Walk for Hope, as well as members of our Southampton office taking part, for the past three years, and it was absolutely wonderful to learn that the current pandemic was not going to stop Wessex Cancer Trust running the event, albeit slightly differently. The team does such wonderful work, and it was a pleasure to be able to support and take part once again. Despite not all being able to walk together, the effort that went into building an online community of support for Walk for Hope was fantastic, and a true testament to what Wessex Cancer Trust can provide.”
Chris Bryant, Managing Director at Drive Personnel, who sponsored the walkers’ t-shirts said: “Cancer is something closer to our hearts, so what better cause than to sponsor something which supports local people in their time of need.”
Thank you to everyone that took part or raised money in this year’s (slightly different) Walk for Hope. All the money you raised goes directly to providing practical and emotional support to anyone living with cancer in Hampshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight.
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