A local charity facing the loss of its biggest fundraising event has found a uniquely ‘lockdown’ solution.
Every year, hundreds of women, men and children from all over Buckinghamshire get together in Aylesbury to walk 5 or 10 miles to raise money for Florence Nightingale Hospice. This year, with coronavirus restrictions on mass gatherings, that will not be possible. This is a big problem for Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity because the Midnight Walk is its biggest fundraising event, raising on average £50,000 each year for hospice care in Buckinghamshire.
So the Fundraising team at Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity has had to think of something completely different for Midnight Walkers this year.
‘How about a sunrise stroll instead?’ says, Vicky Harman, Events Manager at the Charity. ‘It’s still a challenge to get up really early and go for a long walk. As the sun rises at 5am, Walkers can set off to walk by themselves, with their household, or socially distanced with friends or family. They can walk the usual five miles, or ten miles, or they can walk further if they want to. As it’s starting at dawn, but it’s replacing the much-loved Midnight Walk, we’re calling it Not The Midnight Walk.’
The Walk must be a minimum of 5 miles and should start at 5am on Saturday 18 July and it can be completed in your house, garden or outside as long as Walkers comply with Government guidelines and social distancing regulations at all times.
Florence Nightingale Hospice provides support, palliative treatment and care for people with terminal illnesses or who are at the end of life, both at the Hospice and in their own homes across Buckinghamshire. It also, crucially, supports them and their families at an emotionally devastating time.
The coronavirus emergency has forced the Charity to cancel fundraising activity and close its Shops, and has prevented their supporters in the community from holding their own fundraising events too.
‘We’re very much hoping that our local community will rally round its Hospice team and help us replace some of that lost income,’ says Vicky.
‘It’s not the Midnight Walk we know and love,’ she says. ‘But it’s still a chance to challenge yourself and support your local Hospice and we’re hoping that will inspire people to join us on this virtual challenge and share their Walk with us on social media.’