BY TOBY PORTER
St Christopher’s Fun Walk on May 19, 2019 is the biggest fundraising day of the year for Lewisham’s local hospice, and, by taking part, walkers will help to keep essential services running and freely available for local families in South-east London when they need it most.
The walk through Keston, Kent and its surrounding countryside is a life-enhancing day out and an infectiously positive communal experience.
Many people enjoy taking part year after year, and come in fancy dress or customised T-shirts remembering someone special.
“The Fun Walk is just wonderful,” says Sam Packham, 48.
“We walked the 11-mile route last time and when we needed to cross any roads, passing drivers tooted their horns to encourage us and support us along, and it felt like a great thing to be doing for such an important cause.
We know first hand what a difference the hospice makes to families.”
Sam’s dad, Geoffrey Rye, died at the hospice in 2005 aged 67 after a brief two-week stay.
Sam, from Bromley, and her friends and family, have now walked the Fun Walk a spectacular six times, and raised hundreds of pounds for the hospice.
Sam said: “I remember sitting with my dad one day on the ward, holding his hand.
One of the nurses came in and rearranged his pillows and made him more comfortable in the bed, and then on the way out, seeing that I was upset, she just gave me a comforting rub on my shoulder.
It was a small thing, but for me, it was so kind and it made me feel that I wasn’t on my own.
That’s why we do the Fun Walk every year. I’ve got lots of friends involved in the Fun Walk too, because even if you haven’t had close contact with the hospice, everyone seems to know someone whose life has been touched and helped by St Christopher’s.”
The Fun Walk starts and finishes at Keston Common in Kent on May 19, 2019 and meanders through some of Kent’s prettiest countryside.
Walkers can choose their sponsored route with a choice of three five, eight or 11-mile walks, and there are refreshments to refuel the ramblers and entertainment too.
Remi Knight, fundraiser at St Christopher’s says, “Many supporters come in amazing fancy dress (we’ve had superheroes, the Simpson family and the Thunderbirds) but it’s definitely not compulsory; please just come and walk with us and raise some money for the hospice in your community.
If you’ve been before, you’ll know what a fantastic atmosphere there is at Fun Walk, and don’t forget, dogs are really welcome too.”
For more information or to sign-up visit www.stchristophers.org.uk/fun-walk.