Record turnout for St Christopher's Hospice Bluebell Walk
PUBLISHED: 11:00 08 May 2018 | UPDATED: 14:25 10 May 2018
Supporters of St Christopher's Hospice Bromley turned out in large numbers and raised £65,000.
It was a record-breaking turnout for the latest annual Bluebell Walk with more than 1,600 taking part.
An Alice in Wonderland Fancy Dress Team added £1,400 to the fund.
The walk in Cudham raised thousands of pounds during the three walks over three, six, or nine miles.
The organisers said many of those taking part have some personal connection with the hospice. That included a 100-strong group walking in memory of Richard, from Orpington, who died last month after spending a year under St Christopher’s care.
Spirits were kept high with live music.
Event organiser Georgie Grant said: “We were worried that the weather would affect the turnout but we couldn’t believe the number of walkers who had turned up before the walk officially even began.
“We’re so grateful to everyone who took part, and also to our fabulous volunteers who braved the cold and without whom we could never have had such a successful event.
“We even had a family of 12, Liz Dore and family, who decided to celebrate their dad’s 80th birthday by volunteering with us for the day.
“The weather also had an unexpected bonus - we sold £1,756s worth of cake at the refreshment stalls, as people stocked-up against the cold.”
The walk is hospice’s biggest fundraising event of the year with hopes the final tally will hit £65,000 in sponsorship.
That in turn helps the 6,500 people every year who turn to St Christopher’s for care and support.
The hospice was founded by Dame Cicely Saunders in Sydenham in 1967 as the world’s first modern hospice and now makes 13,000 home visits and cares for 757 people in its specialist 48-bed ward.
Some £15m of the annual £21m required to run the facilities comes from fundraising.
The mission at St Christopher’s is to promote and provide skilled and compassionate end of life care of the highest quality, combining specialist care, research and education courses at its facilities across the UK.