More than 700 brightly coloured Thames Hospice supporters took part in the charity’s favourite annual Sunflower Walk last Sunday (10 September 2023), starting from and finishing off at the Hospice’s beautiful grounds by Bray Lake. The record-breaking number of walkers, chose to walk a scenic 2.5k walk around Bray Lake, or a 10k powerwalk to Dorney Lake and back, or a more challenging half marathon route along the Thames Path to the Long Walk near Windsor Castle and back. Many participants walked to reflect on the precious memories shared with loved ones.
This year supporters have also smashed another record, collectively fundraising an all time high of £100,000, which could fund two Nurses for a whole year.
Claire Redrup, Thames Hospice Head of Community and Events Fundraising, says, “I am absolutely elated at the record turnout and amount raised for our wonderful event this year! It was very special to chat with, and thank, everyone who joined us, from those who have walked every year to others who joined us for the first time.
“We are so grateful for our community’s continued support and it was an honour to hear so many stories of why participants chose to walk. All funds raised from the Sunflower Walk will help us to continue to provide vital care for our local community.”
The Doyle family walked in memory of James, their beloved husband/dad, who recently passed away in the Hospice. James’ daughter Laura Doyle says, “We took part in the Sunflower Walk for Thames Hospice because they've provided light during the darkest of hours. He (James) battled the bravest fight, where his strength, determination and sense of humour have kept us all going. Then on the days where we didn't feel as strong or needed support, the earth angels at the Hospice have carried us through.
“When we set our initial target at £250, we couldn't have imagined that we'd exceed £5,000! We are immensely grateful, and we know that Dad is smiling down on us with gratitude as well.”
After crossing the finishing line, all walkers received an eco-friendly medal, which the charity encourages participants to plant and grow. Refreshments and entertainment at the Hospice after the walk provided the perfect opportunity for supporters to mingle and admire the beautiful metal sunflower display placed pride of place in the Hospice gardens which many walkers purchased in memory of a loved one.
Claire adds, “A huge thank you to Hospice staff and volunteers who gave their time to support the event and a special mention to our event sponsor Martin Baker, the face painters and crafters who knitted and crocheted our sunflower pin badges.”
If you are feeling inspired by the success of the Sunflower Walk and wish to get involved in our next latest and ‘hottest’ event, please consider signing up to our Firewalk fundraiser. More details of this and other events can be found here.