Worthing family make it a Night to Remember in memory of stepdad, David

Polly Hearn, from Worthing, will be donning her walking shoes this June as she prepares for her third Night to Remember in aid of St Barnabas House – and this year, for the first time, her children will be joining her.

Polly’s first Night to Remember was in 2011. She recalls awful weather for that year’s walk – strong winds blowing along Worthing seafront. But her abiding memory is of the camaraderie – joyful moments and a feeling of accomplishment.

The next time she took part, Polly had first-hand experience of the hospice’s care. “In the autumn of 2018, my stepdad, David, went into St Barnabas,” she says. “He had a spinal tumour which left him paralysed and initially he went there for respite and symptom management. The care for him and my mum during that time was amazing.”

David’s condition deteriorated, and he sadly died at St Barnabas shortly afterwards. “If you have to lose somebody close to you, there are ways to make it a far more peaceful, positive experience,” says Polly. “St Barnabas definitely did that – before, during and after his death.”

Polly wanted to do something to say thank you, and recruited her best friend of Emma to do Night to Remember with her in 2019. “We did the 20km route, and it was a brilliant experience. I don’t think we stopped talking the whole time! Everyone’s got their own story, and everyone supports each other.”

Polly’s younger children, who are 11 and 13, wanted to walk in their grandad’s memory and this year, her youngest will finally be old enough. “I am really looking forward to the event being back,” says Polly. “It feels like a real milestone in the year.

“Over the years, I have known many people who have had the privilege of being cared for by St Barnabas in their last few weeks. Excellent end-of-life care is priceless, but it does come at a price for the hospice, and so the funds we raise are very much needed.”

Polly and her family taking a selfie in the sun

Shine a light for local hospice care

Night to Remember is back for 2024! Tickets start from just £25 and under 13s go free!

Night to Remember