On Saturday 15th June, approximately 1000 people will gather on Southsea seafront to raise money for Rowans Hospice. Now in its 12th year, some of the people taking part in this year’s Moonlit Memories Walk share their motivation for taking part.
Sammantha and her twin sister, Angela
Sammantha from Cowplain is taking part in the Moonlit Memories Walk in memory of her twin sister Angela, as part of a year packed full of fundraising events to mark their 50th birthday. Sammantha has organised a group of 50 friends and family to enter the event as part of “Team Twinnie” to walk together and celebrate her sister’s life, whilst raising money for Rowans Hospice, a local charity close to their hearts.
“It is important for me to celebrate Angela’s 50th birthday. She died of a really rare cancer, Sickle Cell Sarcoma aged just 45. In addition to taking on 50 fundraising challenges for Sarcoma, I wanted to undertake the Moonlit Memories Walk, because Rowans was really important to her. Angela always supported Rowans even before our mum passed away in there, because it was our local hospice. Not only had our Nan and Uncle been supported by Rowans, we knew of lots of people within the community who had received their amazing help.
When mum died, Angela was utterly devastated but thankfully Rowans gave her the support and counselling that she needed. They were wonderful. So it was really important to her we supported Rowans and would do the Moonlit Memories Walk together to remember our Mum.
My plan is that ‘Team Twinnie’ will all start and end together. The walk will give us the opportunity to celebrate and share our memories of Angela. I know it will be emotional and I also know it isn’t easy, as you are walking when your body expects you to be sleeping. But the atmosphere and the event is really special. I particularly love the opportunity you have to stop and light a candle at Portsmouth Cathedral. Plus I like walking around The Victory because it is so nicely lit up and I know that I am on the way back!
It is really important that I do this event, marking our 50th Birthday by supporting a charity that meant a lot to her. As Angela would point out, you might never need Rowans but it’s important that everyone living in the area does what they can to make sure Rowans is always there for our community.”
Walking For The Challenge
Aged 78, from Denmead, is undertaking the walk as a personal challenge.
“I have been actively involved in supporting the local community for 41years. Through taking part in Rowans Moonlit Memories Walk, I am still able to play my part in supporting a key local charity whilst taking on this physical challenge.
I hope by taking part and completing the 10 mile walk – minus one shoulder, one knee and a waterworks issue – it will encourage more people, especially men, to take part!
I firmly believe that it is important we all contribute in supporting our community, even services we haven’t directly needed or used.”
Debbie Hulbert with her team from Charter Cutting Company, in Emsworth, have taken on Rowans Silver Jubilee Appeal’s £2.5K Corporate Challenge. A group of them are walking the 10 mile route as part of their calendar of fundraising events. Debbie explains that the company has been raising money for the Hospice for many years but she never expected she would need Rowans support:
“My mum passed away at the Rowans in 2014 but prior to then, as a Salon, we would always fundraise for Rowans Hospice just because it’s local. Nothing beats fundraising for a charity that is on your doorstep. You can’t imagine how many clients we have had, probably even just in the last 12 months whose daughters, sons, themselves or their partners have needed to use or be supported by the Rowans.
Our fundraising for Rowans started by taking part in Moonlit Memories Walk. It’s great to know with every step we’ll be helping to raise the funds needed to ensure the amazing care my family received is there for our clients and our community now and in the future.”
Walking To Say Thank You
Walkers of both the six and ten mile routes will be led off Castle Field in Southsea on Saturday 15th June by the “Heart of the Hospice” team, made up of over 20 Rowans Nurses and Doctors, who are undertaking the sponsored walk as a way of saying thank you to the community.
Nurse, Jill Saunders, who co-ordinated the team of Rowans staff stated:
“Many of us have taken part in the Moonlit Memories walk over the years for different reasons. Personally I have walked it in memory of a dear friend and as a personal challenge.
This year the nurses wanted to walk together as a team as our way of saying thank you to all the support that the community give to us. We appreciate how much work goes into funding the work we do, so want to do our part by raising money for the hospice by taking on this challenge.”