BY JAMES TWOMEY
A hospice has appealed for more backers as its biggest fundraiser of the year approaches.
St Christopher’s is appealing for a rush of sign-ups in the next few weeks so it can reach its target of raising £200,000 at its fun walk.
More than 1,000 walkers have already registered for the event at Keston Common on Sunday, May 19 but more keen strollers are urgently needed to help meet the hospice’s essential costs.
Community fundraiser Georgie Grant said: “At St Christopher’s Hospice we get just 30 per cent of our funding from the NHS, which means we have to fundraise the other 70 per cent of our income…And this is where we really need you to come in.
“Lots of people want to help their local community, and if you take part in our Fun Walk next month then St Christopher’s can help more people who are dying get the most out of life. That’s people in your neighbourhood, your road, and maybe your family.”
Nicola Robson, 46, and her family from Beckenham took part in the last fun walk, walking in memory of her father, Peter Birkett. Nicola said: “The fun walk is a wonderful experience and something we’ve done as a family several times since our father was cared for at St Christopher’s in 1999.
It’s a really lovely family day out and last time we took part en masse for the 50th anniversary year. I’d urge anyone to take part in this year’s event – it’s a really special occasion with a positive atmosphere.”
Grant added: “Please don’t be put off from taking part because you’re worried about raising lots of sponsorship. There are other – (potentially easier – ways to raise money for the Fun Walk.
“You could get baking for a cake sale, hold a coffee morning, organise a ‘Dress-down Day’ where you work, put on a quiz or games night, hold a raffle, or simply shake a bucket and collect cash for St Christopher’s, Every contribution goes towards helping us to do more.”
The fun walk starts and finishes at Keston Common, which hosts fair-ground stalls, children’s games, live music and refreshments. It’s not compulsory – but prizes are awarded for the best fancy dress costumes.
Many walkers also walk in memory of someone close to them who has died, proudly wearing customised T-shirts and raising money for St Christopher’s. There are four route options – three, five, eight and 11 miles – and plenty of rest and refreshment points along every route.
To cover costs fun walk entry is £10, but children aged 12 and under can join in for free (under 16s must be accompanied by an adult or guardian).
The event is at Keston Common, Keston, Kent, BR2 6BP.
For more information or to sign-up visit www.stchristophers.org.uk/funwalk