At midnight on Saturday June 21 the streets of Worthing became a blaze of pink as over 1,000 female walkers took part in St Barnabas House’s annual Night to Remember midnight walk, raising more than £143,000 collectively.
The event encouraged women to walk a seven, 13.1 (half marathon) or - new for this year - 20 mile route under the stars all in aid of St Barnabas House, providing hospice care across Worthing, Adur, Arun and Henfield.
The event began with an energetic warm up at Worthing Leisure Centre, before the high-spirited ladies took to the streets of Worthing and continued their walks along the promenade.
Those who undertook the new 20 mile course travelled along the coast visiting Worthing, Lancing and Shoreham while taking in iconic sights, such as Worthing Pier and The Dome, at night.
Sisters Dee Parr and Claire Fisher took on the new 20 mile route in memory of their sister Sinead. Dee said: “We lost our sister 10 years ago today. We are taking on the challenge of the 20 mile route with Sinead in our hearts.”
Like many of the walkers, Stef Ransley had a personal reason for taking part after her Godmother was cared for at the old hospice in 2009, and her mother passed away at the new hospice in 2011.
Stef said: “The charity is very close to my heart and anything I can do to support it I will. I volunteer at the Lancing charity shop, have walked the Night to Remember four times, and volunteered at the event twice.” After completing the 7 mile route on Sunday morning, Stef stayed on to volunteer through to the arrival of the 20 mile route walkers.
Event Organiser, Lucy Bone said, “Each year the event goes from strength to strength and has once again exceeded all expectations. This year, the money raised from the Night to Remember midnight walk will go towards funding our Hospice at Home service.
“This service began in 2012 and allows local people to choose where they receive end of life care and since our Hospice at Home service began, we have cared for more than 700 patients and their families.
“In April we expanded this service to offer 24 hour care day and night so our Hospice at Home team can care for patients in their own homes, through their darkest hours of need.
“Extending our Hospice at Home service into the night-time hours means we have to raise an additional £247 per night. So by walking through the night, our women walkers have raised enough to pay for hundreds of patients to be cared for in the comfort of their own homes. In fact, the walkers have paid for our night service for the whole of the next year.”
Lucy continued: “We would like to thank everyone involved in the event, particularly Splash FM for providing the entertainment on the night and for promoting the event, and our incredible volunteers who gave up their time to support our amazing walkers.
“Additionally, Worthing Borough Council for allowing us to use the Leisure Centre and Worthing Leisure Centre and their brilliant team, including Jo Clark for the invigorating warm up.
“For refreshments we wish to thank Edgars Water for providing water free of charge, Brighton Marathon for providing Power Aid, Kelly Thomas and her team for the catering services, Mars for providing Mars Bars and HT White and Pixies for providing us with additional refreshments.
“Thanks to Richard John Hair and Beauty for donating all of our top fundraising prizes and giving all walkers a voucher for a free haircut, and all the companies who donated the prizes for our Pamper Tombola.
“Finally thank you to Ace Faces and Helen Tinner Photography, F&G Transport, Pavilion, Winner Events, STS Communications and the hospice’s artist-in-residence, Stevan Stratford, for creating the memory wall. The event just wouldn’t be the same without the involvement of all these people.”]
Over the last seven years, the Night to Remember event has raised more than £1 million in total for St Barnabas House hospice.
For women aged 16 and over who have been inspired by this year’s event and want to get involved in 2015, there’s a discounted early-bird entry fee for those registering before the end of the year. Entry includes a fundraising pack, an exclusive t-shirt, torch and medal as well as refreshments en route and breakfast on return.
Further information about St Barnabas House’s Night to Remember midnight walk can be found by visiting www.nighttoremember.org.uk. More information about the work of St Barnabas House can be seen at www.stbh.org.uk
Report and picture contributed by PMW Communications.