Our very first Lantern Walk at Newcastle Racecourse on Saturday 9th July saw 350 people from the region and beyond come together to commemorate the lives of their loves ones, raising over £33,000 for St Oswald’s.
The Lantern Walk was sponsored by Cooperative Funeral Care and saw supporters walk a 5km course, carrying papers lanterns and electric tea lights, which shone brightly in memory of their loved ones.
Hosted by local radio personality Alfie Joey, the Lantern Walk kicked off with music from Mood Indigo choir and a warm up of yoga exercises. Supporters brought along photos and messages to their loved ones to add to a memory wall, which will be displayed in our chapel after the event.
Supporters signed up to remember parents, siblings, children, friends and colleagues, and have been raising funds in their memory through donations and sponsorship. As they negotiated the course through the wooded areas with coloured lanterns strung from the trees, the sun gradually set, allowing their own lanterns to shine brighter, in memory of the special people they were remembering.
Lantern Walkers Dave Wright and Nikki Birch, both from Gosforth, were walking in memory of their parents and grandparents.
We are walking to remember Dave’s dad Derek and my nan and grandad. We like to think that we are doing our bit to help St Oswald’s. Hospices are invaluable not only to the patient but to their families. Dave received bereavement support from the Hospice and it was really helpful to him.
After completing the walk, Dave added:
We would definitely take part in the Lantern Walk next year. There was such a lovely atmosphere and we loved the lanterns with the tea lights. The marshals were really encouraging along the route. It was a great way to remember loved ones.
Siobhan Sargeant, Fundraiser at St Oswald’s Hospice, finished:
The Lantern Walk is a celebration of life. The atmosphere on the night was amazing and a really poignant moment came just before we all set off. There was a huge rain shower just as the speeches were taking place, but once that cleared, we were all treated to a beautiful rainbow. It truly felt like a sign from above!
Everyone at the Hospice wants to thank the wonderful supporters who came along to walk in memory of their loved ones and to everyone who sponsored them. We are delighted to have raised £33,000 so far, with more expected to come in through sponsorship. This will make a huge difference to St Oswald’s.
Please check out photos from the event here.