More than 500 people joined the Sue Ryder Duchess of Kent hospice team at their Forget-Me-Not-Walk on Sunday 13 May. The event took place at Englefield Estate, Theale.
The two routes, 5km and 8km, featured woodland, stunning views of the house and gardens, and an open deer park. Many walked in memory of loved ones, gathering with friends, family and hospice staff to celebrate the lives of those who are gone but not forgotten.
A new and popular addition to the walk were t-shirts for people to add a picture or message for those they were remembering, and on completing their preferred route everyone was given the opportunity to write a dedication card which was added to a special memory tree. Many then tucked into a well-deserved cream tea and enjoyed drinks at Englefield Social Club.
Charlotte Cunningham was a participant on the day. She said: “I chose to take part in the walk because my Mum passed away two years ago yesterday, and as it fell on the same weekend it seemed a nice way to remember her. Mum’s last day was at Duchess of Kent Hospice and we felt she was looked after with such dignity and respect, it really helped in our last few hours with her. We know that it costs such a lot for the hospice to keep going so we wanted to support and raise money for Sue Ryder.”
Laura Kell, Head of Hospice Fundraising at Duchess of Kent said: “The sun shone and we had a glorious day. We are really grateful to Englefield Estate for letting us host the walk in their beautiful private grounds. A huge thank you to all who took part without their support we simply wouldn’t be able to carry on providing and developing the services that so many depend on - sponsorship money is still trickling in but so far we have raised £22,000!”
2018 sponsor Balfour Beatty helped cover the event and marketing costs. Chris Hall, Project Manager, said: “Balfour Beatty is extremely proud to have sponsored the Forget-Me-Not Walk this year. We are currently working with Wokingham Borough Council through Scape procurement to deliver improvements to the Town Centre and we are passionate about supporting the local community whilst we are here. The walk was a brilliant opportunity to give something back and raise much needed funds for Sue Ryder, as well as enjoy the fresh air with family and friends.”
Sue Ryder offers a range of support from their three local sites, from inpatient care at the 15-bed Duchess of Kent Hospice in Reading to day services at Wokingham Day Hospice and Charles Clore Day Hospice in Newbury, which help people stay at home longer and offer respite to carers.
Whether supporting people in the hospice or their own homes, their focus is on quality of life - giving every patient the care and support they need to spend the time they have left in the way they choose. For more information please speak to the team. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01189 550 433.