Walkers bring Rio to streets for annual fundraiser

Midnight Walk for Florence Nightingale Hospice
Midnight Walk for Florence Nightingale Hospice

There will be a carnival atmosphere at this year’s Midnight Walk as brightly dressed women bring Rio to the streets of Aylesbury.

The annual event for Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity (FNHC) on Saturday July 9 will once again see a horde of brightly dressed, bunny-eared ladies strolling through the streets, talking and laughing as they walk.

The Midnight Walk, the charity’s biggest fundraising event, raises on average over £55,000 each year for the hospice at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, It offers a 6-mile route or the 13-mile route, both of which begin and finish at Aylesbury College, with an official start at midnight.

The event starts with a stage show courtesy of sponsors Mix96 and an aerobics warm-up from dance teacher Jo Beardmore-Dilks of JBD Fitness and Dance, with the walkers decked out in dayglo pink and flashing headgear.

A spokeswoman for FNHC said: “This event has a serious purpose - it is an essential way for the charity to raise funds for vital services at the hospice for a community with an ever-increasing demand for end of life care and support for those with life-limiting illnesses. And many people on the Midnight Walk have a story to tell about how the hospice has touched their lives.”

Lottie Goodchild, who is doing the walk with her mother Debbie, said: “They cared for my Nana, Joan Weavers, in her last few days and that all important

stage of making someone comfortable can make all the difference.

“Such a friendly, caring group of nurses there that do this on a daily basis, they’re troopers and deserve all the support they can receive.”

Participants also take the challenge of an all-night walk as a fun and interesting thing to do for a local cause, or in memory and celebration of a loved one, whether they were cared for in the Florence Nightingale Hospice or not.

Rachael Hine, events manager at FNHC, said: “Most people do the Midnight Walk with friends, and the atmosphere is amazing. It can be very emotional and uplifting, a real celebration as well as a time to remember special people. If you haven’t tried it, come along and find out for yourself – and don’t forget to add a touch of carnival to your outfit this year.”

Registration for the Midnight Walk costs £18 per person which includes your special Midnight Walk 2016 souvenir t-shirt, medal on completion of the walk, and a hot drink and light breakfast at Aylesbury College when you finish.

For more information and to sign up for the Midnight Walk go to www.gemstonewalk.co.uk or for more about Florence Nightingale Hospice at www.fnhospice.org.uk