Stepping out to celebrate summer

Fundraisers Amy and Ellanor Foster prepare for Solstice Walk Your Way

Join the Solstice Walk Your Way with St Giles Hospice

Sutton Coldfield people are being invited to celebrate the arrival of summer and support St Giles Hospice on June 19 by stepping out of their own front door to take part in Solstice Walk Your Way.

Supporters will be lacing up their walking shoes and fundraising in their fairy wings for a Solstice Walk with a twist this year as the hospice’s biggest annual fundraiser returns in 2021 for a special event based from home.

Fundraisers are being invited to put safety first and walk 5k their way – either on Saturday 19th or any other day in June – before celebrating with a solstice party in their own garden afterwards.

Taking part in Solstice Walk Your Way this year is Amy Foster from Tamworth, who will be wearing her fairy wings with her eight-year-old daughter Ellanor and husband Daniel. The family was supported when Amy’s mother-in-law was an inpatient at the hospice and has since become a health assistant.

Chloe Herbert, Head of Fundraising at St Giles Hospice, said: “Our Solstice Walk is our largest fundraising event of the year and always has a really magical atmosphere – and we’re hoping to bring some of that spirit back in 2021 now that people can get together in small groups outside.

“We hope that as many people as possible will get together in their ‘bubbles’ to take part and raise some much-needed funds for St Giles Hospice at a time when we have never needed our community more. A lot of people raising a small amount can make a huge difference to the care we’re able to provide in our community, and the Solstice Walk Your Way is a great way to support us with your family or friends.

“After the difficult year St Giles has faced, we need the Solstice Walk more than ever in 2021 and we’re thrilled to be bringing it back. Although we’d all love to get together again for our annual walk through Lichfield we feel that adapting the event is the most responsible thing to do this year in the interest of everyone’s safety and we’d love for hundreds of people from right across our catchment area to join together virtually for an extra-special Solstice Walk this year.

“People who sign up will receive a fabulous fundraising pack full of goodies to really get them in the Solstice Walk spirit. Shimmer on a 5k in your local area, sparkle at your own fundraising party, and shine for St Giles!”

The fundraising pack includes a Solstice Walk Your Way number to wear, a selection of 5k route maps around local parks and trails, a lantern to light for a special moment of reflection at 8pm on 19th June, biodegradable body glitter and gel, party bunting, cake toppers and fabulous fundraising ideas.

Chloe added: “It’s free to sign up to Solstice Walk Your Way, but by raising just a little bit of sponsorship, you can make a huge difference to the lives of local people living with a terminal illness. If you take part in a bubble of six people and everyone donated £5, you could fund one hour of nursing care for a patient at the end of their life.”

Although Amy Foster has been a St Giles fundraiser for several years, her support for St Giles became more personal in 2018 when mother-in-law Sandra Foster was diagnosed with cancer. Sandra came to St Giles as an inpatient in January 2019 for a couple of weeks, before being discharged and dying at home, as was her wish, a couple of months later.

Amy, who was so inspired by Sandra’s care that she joined St Giles as a Healthcare Assistant, said: “We’re really looking forward to taking part in Solstice Walk Your Way. The Solstice Walk is the only St Giles event I’ve never done before so I’m looking forward to completing the set!

“The event has been adapted in such a lovely way to ensure people can still fundraise and take part safely and I’ll be walking in memory of my mother-in-law Sandra. The care she was given was superb and we just want to give back to St Giles some of the love that we received.

“After she passed away we were helped with bereavement support and the staff were just so good to us, always listening, and they really made a difference.

“I now work with the Hospice at Home team at St Giles so I can see that there are so many people who need the support of the hospice. People who raise funds for the hospice are absolute heroes – the money they raise makes such a difference for local families who are living with a terminal illness. A little support really goes a long way.

“St Giles is such a valuable service for everyone in the community as you never know when someone you love is going to need the amazing support that the hospice provides.”

For more information about Solstice Walk Your Way or to sign up visit www.stgileshospice.com/solsticewalk

For more information about St Giles Hospice and the expert care it provides, please visit www.stgileshospice.com

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