Walk in tribute to my granddad

Nicole Hardy as a child with her granddad Bernard Weatherley
Nicole Hardy as a child with her granddad Bernard Weatherley

The streets around Aylesbury have been seeing lots of activity as participants prepare for the Midnight Walk on Saturday, July 9.

One of these is Nicole Hardy, who attempted the 13-mile walk a few years ago, but settled for six miles instead.

Nurse and patient at Florence Nighingale Hospice

Nurse and patient at Florence Nighingale Hospice

She said: “I really enjoyed doing the Midnight Walk a few years ago. We were down for 13 mile walk but all agreed to stop at 6. I want to do it again because I know I can do the 13 and last time I didn’t want to stop.”

Nicole and her team of three friends are doing the walk in memory of Nicole’s grandfather, Bernard Weatherley, who lived for thirty years in St Anne’s Road, Aylesbury and who died in the Florence Nightingale Hospice in 2009.

Like many, Nicole’s main motivation is gratitude for the care and support her grandad and her family received from the staff at the hospice.

Nicole added: “Florence Nightingale Hospice have done and meant so much not just for me but for my family over the years. I want to help them to have the funds to continue their great work. I want to support the hospice for all the great work they do, they really helped my family at this sad time.”

Each year, the Midnight Walk is a major contributor of funds for vital services at the hospice. Although the hospice is managed and partly funded by the NHS, the Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity has to raise more than £650,000 to fund services like the Lymphoedema Clinic, Florrie’s Children’s Team, the Bereavement Support Team and the Nightingale 24/7 Care Team, which provides 24-hour end of life care in patients’ homes, and which alone costs the charity £110,000 a year to fund.

Without the participation of individuals like Nicole, and, crucially, the sponsorship they raise when doing events like the Midnight Walk, the hospice would not be able to provide the same range of specialist palliative care and support free of charge to the many families in our community who need it.

Nicole said: “Hearing everyone else’s stories and chatting away to other ladies and hearing their experiences is amazing.

“What makes this event special is knowing you are doing something worthwhile.”

Your hospice needs you! The last chance to sign up for the Midnight Walk is midday on Tuesday, July 5. Go to www.gemstonewalk.co.uk to register now.