In glorious sunshine over 3,500 walkers took part in St Christopher’s Fun Walk in Keston, Kent, on Sunday 14 May 2017. Lots of walkers wore t-shirts featuring the names or photos of loved ones who were cared for by St Christopher’s, and many more were walking simply to support the hospice’s work across five South East London boroughs. With over 900 participants signing-up on the day, it’s hoped that this year’s Fun Walk will top the £200,000 raised at the last walk – a fitting tribute in the hospice’s 50th Anniversary year.
The atmosphere on Keston Common was made extra special by several large groups of family and friends who came to walk the miles together. One group, walking in memory of a young lady from Beckenham, had members who had travelled from as far afield as Birmingham, Worthing, Spain and New Zealand to raise a magnificent sum in the region of £20,000 for the hospice in her memory.
Routes ranged from 3 to 11 miles through picturesque woodland, fields and Keston Lakes. Marshall points along the way were staffed with enthusiastic volunteers including nine local Rotary Clubs and 5th Beckenham South Scout Group, who kept walkers going with water supplies, sweets, music, cheering and dancing.
Keston Common itself, where the walks started and finished, was buzzing with live music, a mix of street food and lots of groups having picnics to celebrate their walk and fantastic fundraising efforts on behalf of St Christopher’s.
Ginny Hearn from Forest Hill was walking with a group calling themselves ‘Team Dynamos’. Ginny says, “This is just such a lovely event, the atmosphere is so warm and so many people are walking to remember someone who was cared for by the hospice. It’s an amazing testament to the work that they do, that so many people raise sponsorship and come out walking to support St Christopher’s.”
Sean O’Leary, Joint Chief Executive at St Christopher’s says, “We want to say an absolutely huge thank you to all our amazing walkers, volunteers and Rotary Clubs who came together to help us have such a brilliant day. Stage Coach have been fantastic, providing a free shuttle bus, and Host catering produced some wonderful food.
Please do remember to send in your sponsorship money as soon as possible, to make it all worthwhile.”