Midnight Walk 20th event appeal St Luke's Hospice

Nurses at St Luke’s Hospice in Cheshire are urging the community to “walk with us” at their annual Midnight Walk fundraising event as the charity faces worrying times.

Hospices across the UK are facing a funding crisis due to rising staff costs and steep increases in utility bills.

St Luke’s is one of the least funded adult hospices in the country and staff say it faces a budget deficit of £350,000 for the coming year.

For 19 years, the Midnight Walk from Nantwich to Crewe and back has been St Luke’s flagship fundraising event.

It has raised more than £3.5 million towards patient care at the hospice.

But they warned that with five weeks until this year’s 20th Midnight Walk, numbers are low and the hospice is urgently asking people to show their support.

Claire Langston, Head of Fundraising for St Luke’s, said: “The Midnight Walk is a much-loved local event which this year celebrates its 20th year.

“Over those years it has raised a staggering £3.5 million for the hospice thanks to the kindness of the community, money which has been vital in allowing our nurses to provide special care to local patients and their loved ones.

“St Luke’s is one of the least funded adult hospices in the country, receiving just 16% of funding from the government.

“Without the support of our local community we simply couldn’t provide the vital care we do to so many local people. Please walk with us and show you care for your local hospice.”

The Midnight Walk takes place on Saturday June 29 at Reaseheath College in Nantwich.

Walkers are invited to arrive from 7.30pm for a special 20th anniversary concert by the lake featuring renowned Robbie Williams tribute act, Scott Borley.

They will then set off at 10pm for an 11 or 6 mile walk through Nantwich and Crewe before returning to Reaseheath College.

Rachel Norrey, a nurse on St Luke’s Inpatient Unit, completed the Midnight Walk last year and is urging people to sign up.

She said: “We really enjoyed the Midnight Walk which I did with my friend to raise money for the hospice.

“I have the pleasure to work on the Inpatient Unit and I understand first hand what a vital service it is that the Hospice offers.

“We laughed, chatted and hit our step goals! The outpouring of support from our community was incredible, with neighbours offering sweets and encouragement.

“It was a truly memorable night and I would encourage anyone to take part!”

For more information and to sign up for the Midnight Walk visit www.slhospice.co.uk/midnightwalk

(Pic: St Luke’s Nurses Sheila Whittle, Andrew Marr and Kate Whitwam urge community to ‘walk with us’)

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