Nearly 300 supporters raise more than £33,500 for Cambs hospice during lockdown
- Credit: Supplied
More than £33,500 has been raised for a Cambridgeshire hospice charity during a virtual walk supported by almost 300 people during lockdown.
The annual Arthur Rank Hospice Charity event would not usually take place virtually, but it was adapted by organisers amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
Historically the 10-mile ‘Star Shine Walk’, sponsored by The Cambridgshire Care Home, starts and finishes at Shelford Rugby Club in Cambridge.
Instead, participants were invited to walk ‘shoulder to shoulder with hospice staff’, by walking 20,000 steps any time between May 23 and June 6.
Over £405,605 has now been raised by the event since it started in 2008.
Frontline care and supporting teams based at the Alan Hudson Day Treatment Centre in Wisbech and hospice at Shelford Bottom also took part.
Alongside the charity’s CEO Sharon Allen, together they accumulated far more than 20,000 steps whilst at work, the day before the official event launched.
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Celebrity supporter of the event, Cliff Parisi, known for playing Minty in the TV show EastEnders, generously lent his good-humoured support to bolster the event.
He took to social media, as the events team counted down towards the start of the walk, to encourage people to take part, despite the change in format.
Angeline Liles, events officer, said: “We’re so grateful for the way in which everyone embraced the new plans for this special event!
“Every single person who counted their steps for our Star Shine Walk this year, and every person who made a donation, has made a really positive difference for those we care for and support.
“Our original target was £20,000, so we’re unbelievably proud of all our Team Arthur family who, by putting their best foot forward together, smashed that target by over £13,000! A true team effort!”
Over 30 members of Sing! Choirs, based in Ely and Cambridge, created their own ‘Sing ’n’ Walk’ to raise vital funds for the hospice.
Their collective effort raised so much in sponsorship that their leader, Kathryn Rowland, had to fulfil her promise of doubling her distance – so walked 40,000 steps!
The charity is planning to host a celebration evening for event participants once it is safe to do so, where walkers will be personally thanked and awarded their well-deserved medals.
Arthur Rank Hospice needs to secure £8.66 million every year to deliver services free of charge to patients in Cambridgeshire living with an advanced serious illness or a life-limiting conditions, and their loved ones.
About half of this currently comes from statutory sources, with further funds raised thanks to the wider local community, through events such as Star Shine Walk and Bridge the Gap.