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Midnight Walk returns as virtual sunrise event

Monday 6 July 2020

Walk Together Apart for local hospice care on 12 September 2020

Despite COVID-19 leading to the postponement and cancellation of many events, supporters will still be able to put their best foot forward for the hospice this autumn. Thinking outside the box, St Barnabas House is replacing its biggest annual fundraising event ‘Night to Remember’ midnight walk with ‘Sunrise to Remember: Virtual Edition’.

Taking place on 12 September 2020, Sunrise to Remember: Virtual Edition, will bring all the excitement and camaraderie of Night to Remember, but with a special virtual twist.

Instead of walking through the night, hundreds of local residents will be setting off from their own homes at sunrise, walking from darkness into light on a seven-mile route of their choice.

Walkers cross the finish line at Night to Remember 2019

Sophie Henderson, Events Fundraiser at St Barnabas House, says: “Feedback from those who have signed up to take part in Night to Remember is that they would be really disappointed if they were unable to take part, so we’ve worked hard behind the scenes to come up with a way for them to do so whilst keeping safe and adhering to government guidelines.

“Whilst walkers will be physically walking apart from other participants, we’ll be bringing everyone together on the day, virtually, by broadcasting live on Facebook and YouTube both before and after their walk.

“On top of this, More Radio Worthing (107.7FM) will be hosting an extra special Sunrise to Remember takeover, with interviews with walkers and the hospice care team, as well as the chance for participants to request songs and leave messages in honour of their loved ones.”

Whether it’s for fun or fitness, as a challenge or in memory of a loved one, participants can take part alone, walk with someone from their household, or in a small socially-distanced group, following government guidelines.

Marie with her sister, Lucy, their mum, Kate, and Marie's daughter, Beth

Marie with sister, Lucy, their mum, Kate, and Marie’s daughter, Beth

Marie Hamilton, 41 from Worthing, has walked in Night to Remember for the last four years and is relieved that the event is going ahead in its new form. Marie will be walking in memory of her mother, Kate Gladden, alongside her eight-year-old daughter, Beth.

Marie says: “I’m taking part in Sunrise to Remember in memory of my Mum. Mum and my daughter, Beth, were so close so its lovely for her to be able to take part and so special for me to have her by my side doing the walk together. My son, Frank, wants to join in too but he’s only five and I’m not sure he’d make the 7 miles. We’ll have to see!”

Marie’s mother, Kate, was diagnosed with bile duct cancer, a very rare and untreatable condition, in 2015 and received end-of-life care from the Hospice at Home team during her final days. Since the death of her mother, Marie and her family and friends have raised an incredible £21,365 for St Barnabas House by taking part in the event every year since 2016.

Marie Hamilton (centre) with Michele O'Reilly and her son Michael O'Reilly who worked with Kate at Waitrose

Marie (centre) at Night to Remember 2019

“St Barnabas looked after Mum so well, so it is the least we can do to say thank you. The Hospice at Home team were incredible and we are forever grateful to them for being there in our darkest hours. Mum was at ease as soon as the team turned up and we knew we were in safe hands while we went through the hardest thing we ever had to do. It took away a lot of fear that Mum and the rest of the family were feeling. We were also supported a long time afterwards,” says Marie.

Marie has this message for anyone thinking of taking part in Sunrise to Remember: “Do it! It is an incredible thing to be part of and every penny raised and awareness of the hospice will help other families receive the same amazing care that we did in their time of need.”

St Barnabas House hope that more people will sign up to don their Sunrise to Remember t-shirts and take on the seven-mile challenge, as the fundraising will help the hospice to continue offering free care to local people living with terminal illness.

“The event holds a very special place in our hearts and we know it means a lot to the local community too. It was a tough decision to change the event, but the wellbeing of our patients, families, supporters, staff and volunteers is always at the forefront of every decision we make,” says Sophie.

“The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in a significant increase in families needing our support, so we would love as many people as possible to get involved so we can continue providing care for local people, now and in the future.”

Sunrise to Remember is open to everyone. Registration is £12 per person, free for children under 16. Sign up today by visiting www.stbh.org.uk/nighttoremember