“AND WE’LL HAVE FUN, FUN, FUN” – MORE THAN 3,OOO WALKERS RAISE £200,000 FOR ST CHRISTOPHER’S HOSPICE
The sun blazed and the crowds of supporters on Keston Common did not waver from nine in the morning until late into the afternoon at St Christopher’s Fun Walk on Sunday.
Over 3,000 walkers took part in the Fun Walk, exceeding all previous years; which was a great way to celebrate the 25th birthday of the event.
Over 2,300 walkers had registered in advance but a further 700 arrived on the day to take part in either a three, five, eight or 11 mile countryside route, setting off from and returning to Keston Common.
Once sponsorship monies have been collected from the 25th anniversary walk, St Christopher’s estimate they will have raised a record-breaking £200,000 to continue to fund the work of the hospice across the local community.
Joint chief executive Heather Richardson said: “I am blown away by the level of support that we received from the local community at our Fun Walk!
“The wonderful energy and carnival atmosphere on the Common on Sunday demonstrated so well just how much local people value the work of St Christopher’s.”
Fellow joint chief executive Sean O’Learyadded:“We want to say an absolutely huge thank you to all the amazing walkers, volunteers, marshals, Rotary Clubs, and local companies who came together for such a fantastic day’s fundraising.”
Particular thanks go to Langley Park Rotary Club, Ian Baxter, Waitrose, Stagecoach (who once again provided a free park and ride bus service), First Trams and the South London Press, said a St Christopher’s spokeswoman.
“We were very pleased to welcome newly elected Bromley Mayor, Kim Botting, and chair of Lewisham council Jimi Adefiranye, to take part in the walk, where they joined St Christopher’s joint chief executives, Heather Richardson and Sean O’Leary on the three mile route around Keston.
“Wonderful live music featured on the Common, including performances from Endurance Steel Orchestra and the Green Street Blues.
“Entertainment including a Punch & Judy show and bouncy castle proved high-lights for children, while the Waitrose-sponsored barbeque and refreshments stalls helped to keep walkers energised.
“In 2015, all the money raised through Fun Walk will be targeted towards supportive care services offered to St Christopher’s patients through the Anniversary Centre at the hospice in Sydenham or Caritas House in Orpington.
“St Christopher’s supportive care centres provide easy access to a range of specialist services and social opportunities that aim to build confidence and physical and emotional strength, and help patients to live well while managing the challenges their illness brings.”
St Christopher’s Hospice, a charity founded in 1967 by Dame Cicely Saunders as the first modern hospice,combines care, education and research to provide skilled and compassionate support to people approaching the end of their lives.
The hospice.serves a diverse population of 1.5 million in five south London boroughs – Bromley, Croydon, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark.
Each year St Christopher’s cares for 2,000 dying people 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The inpatient unit has 48 beds and on any one day a further 750 patients are cared for in their own homes.
The inpatient unit has 48 beds and on any one day a further 750 patients are cared for in their own homes.
It costs £18 million each year to deliver these specialist palliative care and family care services free of charge to patients of which approximately £12 million must be fundraised each year. (Source: St Christopher’s hospice press release).
On Wednesday 20 May, St Christopher’s is hosting a free Funerals Roadshow from 1pm to 4.30pm in the Anniversary Centre at St Christopher’s Hospice, 51-59 Lawrie Park Road, Sydenham.
The roadshow will be a relaxed, drop-in event, open to all. A range of experts will be on-hand to give people the opportunity to talk about planning for a funeral and provide information.
There will be the chance to find out more about:
selecting music, poems and readings
talking to children about funerals
the visualisation of the event
managing a digital legacy after death
This event is open to the local community, as well as patients, their families, and carers. Entrance is free and café refreshments will be available to buy.
For further information, please contact our Spiritual Care Lead Andrew Goodhead [email protected]
The roadshow has been created to support national Dying Matters Awareness Week, 18 to 24 May 2015. Dying Matters Awareness week is aimed at promoting healthy attitudes to dying and death; getting people talking about dying, death and bereavement and making plans for their end of life. The theme for 2015 is ‘Talk, Plan, Live.’
Dying Matters is a coalition of 30,000 members across England and Wales which aims to help people talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement, and to make plans for the end of life. For further information, please visit www.dyingmatters.org
In order to get people talking about what many consider a difficult subject, Croydon Council and Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are hosting a range of events between 18 and 24 May.
They will be assisted in getting the matter talked about freely by Croydon University hospital and St Christopher’s Hospice, Sydenham.
For further information regarding Croydon’s end-of-life care plans, contact Cynthia Abankwa, project lead, [email protected]
For further information on the Dying Matters Coalition, or events during Dying Matters Awareness Week, call freephone 08000 214466, email [email protected], or visitwww.dyingmatters.org (Sources: St Christopher’s hospice / Croydon council press releases).