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Walking in memory of loved ones at St Oswald's Lantern Walk

Walking in memory of loved ones at St Oswald’s Lantern Walk

Our second Lantern Walk took place on Saturday 1st July at the Rising Sun Country Park, with over 400 walkers turning out to remember their loved ones with us.

Our walkers took part in a 5K trail around the country park, carrying lanterns to light the way as the sun set. Our merchandise stall proved to be very popular, with walkers sporting flashing bunny ears, cowboy hats, visors, fairy wings and tutus!

Thanks to the efforts everyone taking part, we are delighted to announce that a massive £50,000 was raised from the event, through sponsorship and donations. A huge and heartfelt thank you to everyone who walked or sponsored someone to take part!

Luckily, the weather held out for everyone on the night, which was hosted by Steve Colman from Smooth Radio and sponsored by WeightWatchers. The atmosphere was celebratory rather than sombre, as everyone came together to share stories of the special people they were walking in memory of. After an energetic warm up by Ben from Smooth Radio, our Chaplain Davina took to the stage to say a few words and lead a minute’s silence. And once the lanterns were lit, we were all ready to go, and set off to the sounds of ‘Local Hero.’

It was fantastic to see over 400 supporters, all walking together carrying their coloured lanterns. And it wasn’t just people who turned up to be a part of the event; many of our four-legged friends joined their humans, making it very much a family affair!

Anne Ballantyne from Morpeth walked with her daughter and brought along her little dog too. She said:

Sadly my mam passed away 2 years ago in St Oswald’s after receiving end of life care. We’re always raising money for the hospice now as it’s such a great cause. We’ve run the Great North Run and took part in the Lantern Walk last year, but think the venue is even better this year.            

‘Team Big Al’ was one of our biggest groups taking part this year with 12 members! With walkers travelling from South Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Roxburghshire and Whitley Bay, the gang have managed to raise over £1040 of their £1400, with funds still to come in.

Big Al’ aka Alan Arthur said:

We’re remembering a few people this evening. My Wife, Pat Arthur died in the hospice earlier this year. We are holding a raffle to raise funds for St Oswald’s, with the first prize being a silk scarf Pat made during her time at the hospice.My brother-in-law John Grinsell died in the hospice about six years ago, and we are also remembering Debbie Clasper, who was a friend and colleague of my daughter Jane. Today (1st July) 2017 would’ve been Debbie’s 50th Birthday, so it’s very fitting we are walking in her memory today.

Special thanks go to our sponsors, WeightWatchers and to Smooth Radio and Steve Colman, and to the wonderful volunteers who gave their time to marshal the event, sell merchandise and assist our walkers. But most of all, thank you, on behalf of our patients and families and staff and volunteers, to each and every person who came along and walked - we simply couldn’t have raised vital funds for our service without your continued support.