The Midnight Walk route – which began and ended at the hospice on Lawrie Park Road in Sydenham – encompassed all five South East London boroughs where St Christopher’s provides expert end of life care for the community. St Christopher’s physiotherapist Lorna Malcolm led the participants in an enthusiastic warm-up routine set to music before the walkers set-off at a cracking pace at 11pm.
Over half of the walkers on the five mile circular route said that they were walking in memory of a loved one who had died and there was a strong community atmosphere which was wonderfully warm, friendly and inclusive. Teams who participated included a group of twenty (calling themselves The Purple Muffins) who were walking in memory of Phillis Galley, a team of fourteen who walked in memory of Senay Pasifull, and another group of fourteen walking in memory of Brian Reilly.
Many participants embraced the ‘pyjama party’ theme and arrived in their night clothes and onesies, as well as lighting-up the local streets with glow sticks and fairy lights. Delicious free pizza and a glass of wine proved a fantastic motivator half-way around the route, and was provided by Mediterrenea restaurant and sponsored by Gibson Charttered Accountants.
Other local businesses sent teams to support St Christopher’s and included Lewisham Homes (who generously sponsored the Midnight Walk event), Marks & Spencer’s Bromley, the Chatterton Arms public house and estate agents Alan De Maid.
Fundraiser Georgie Grant, from St Christopher’s said “What a night! We must say a huge thank you to each and every walker who took part. It certainly was a sight to see with everyone in onsies and pyjamas, and we are absolutely delighted with the turnout. Please do remember to chase your friends and families for sponsorship money, so that all your effort will have been worthwhile!
“We also want to offer heartfelt thanks to all our volunteers and marshals, corporate teams, Gibson Chartered Accountants, Mediterrenea restaurant, our sponsor Lewisham Homes and the local community who have shown fantastic support for the event from start to finish.”
Midnight Walk took place in Hospice Care Week (5 – 11 October) as part of an annual week of activity to raise the profile of hospice care across the UK: one in three people will be touched by hospice care at some point in their lives. The 2015 Quality of Death Index* this month ranked the UK top out of 80 countries in its quality of palliative care.