Superheroes on march

Louise (as Batgirl) taking part in a previous Hero Walk

Pull on a cape to take part in the St Giles Hospice Hero Walk

Do you have what it takes to become a hero for St Giles Hospice? St Giles is summoning caped crusaders and fundraising families to Lichfield’s Beacon Park for its Hero Walk on Saturday 25th September – and is calling on people to celebrate their own heroes in style as they take part in the event.

People are encouraged to dress up as their favourite hero before tackling a 5km walk with a series of fun challenges along the way. The event is suitable for all the family and all funds raised will support hospice care for patients and their families who are living with a terminal illness.

Zoe Wright, Events Manager at St Giles Hospice said: “Whether you’re in fancy dress or looking for something fun and exciting to do, our Hero Walk is a great day out. We’re calling on our community to pull on their capes and show they care by walking for their hero. 

“Our Hero Walk has activities and entertainment for everyone – including doggie sidekicks. The fun begins at the hero hub, where all of our heroes will be assembling. You can enjoy games, refreshments and pose for some super family snaps before setting off on your activity adventure. 

“There are also awesome activities along the route to test your hero skills to the limit and a hero’s welcome awaits when you cross the finish line to collect your medal. So please sign up to make memories in a mask and celebrate your own heroes – and by raising funds for St Giles as you go, you will become a hero of ours too.”

St Giles Hospice’s first-ever Hero Walk, held at Walsall Arboretum in 2019, was a huge success. The event was due to return last year, but had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

One of the superheroes at the inaugural event was Louise Harding, from Willenhall, who took part in memory of her Nan, Lavinia Layton, who received end of life care at St Giles Hospice before her death in June 2019 at the age of 93.

Louise said: “My Nan got exactly the care she needed at St Giles – one-to-one care tailored to her. They were always ready to help us and people were there straight away when we needed support, which makes a huge difference for both the patient and the family.”

Three months after her Nan died, Louise put together a team of superheroes, including friends and three pet dogs, and dressed up as Batgirl to do the Hero Walk in memory of Lavinia.

“The Hero Walk was a celebration of Nan and a way to thank St Giles for the support they gave us to comfort her, as well as for letting us spend time with her until the very end,” added Louise.

“St Giles Hospice is such a valuable service for the area and we wanted to raise funds for the future so that St Giles would be there for other families like ours. The Hero Walk was really special because everyone was walking for a reason. Everyone had their own superhero in mind, which gave it a real meaning.”

The 5km family walk and fun day will kick off at 11am on Saturday 25th September in Beacon Park, Lichfield, with a welcome speech at 11.30am before the walk starts at 12pm. Entry is £3 for under threes, £6 for under 16s, £10 for adults and £30 for a family ticket (two adults and two children). Doggie sidekicks can take part for free!

Zoe added: “All heroes are encouraged to arrive in their costumes ready to leap into action and help raise funds for their local hospice. If you’d like to take on the challenge in true hero style, St Giles capes can be pre-ordered or bought on the day for a £5 donation.

“The entry fee only covers the administration cost of Hero Walk, but by asking friends and family to sponsor you, you will raise valuable funds to help us continue to provide care and support, free of charge, for patients and their families.

“Raising £40 in sponsorship could pay for one hour of our Advice and Referrals team, £202 could pay for visits to a patient in their own home by our community nurses and £676 could pay for 24 hours of hospice care for a patient at the end of their life.”

For more information about the St Giles Hospice Hero Walk, please visit www.stgileshospice.com/herowalk

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