7 March 2011
For the past eleven years, Keech Hospice Care has been caring for children with life-limiting illnesses across the whole of Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Milton Keynes. Through our hospice and community nursing team, we provide specialist care for the children and all the support their families need throughout what is probably the hardest time in their lives.
We need to find around £3.2 million every year to keep these services going. In the past two years, the Stevenage Midnight Walk has raised £60,000 for the children’s hospice but more is needed every year and that’s where local ladies can do their bit and help to raise thousands of pounds this June.
Events Fundraiser, Clare Bestall-Phillips explained how every bit of support helps: “People sometimes think they won’t be able to raise very much so it’s not really worth entering these things but that’s just not the case.
“Most people who have taken part before say they actually found it very easy to get friends and family to support them and soon find they’ve got at least £100 in sponsorship money. That’s enough to pay for four hours of vital 1-1 nursing support for a child or more than enough to offer a much needed counselling session for a family member. These are vital services and everyone who gets involved will be making their own contribution towards something amazing.”
Hayley Costa is one mum who knows exactly what it means to receive the special care and support provided by Keech. At just four years old, Hayley’s daughter, Sophie was diagnosed with a very rare childhood cancer and sadly died at the children’s hospice back in December 2009. Along with eleven of her friends, Hayley joined the Stevenage walk in memory of Sophie last year.
Hayley said: “Going to Keech was such a relief after our experience at the hospital. As soon as we walked through the door we knew it was the right place for Sophie to be. They were so helpful, so lovely and we were made to feel so comfortable.
“Sophie hadn’t been comfortable and pain free for such a long time, but within two days the team at Keech had stopped her pain and enabled her to relax. We didn’t leave her side and Keech looked after all the family as well as they looked after Sophie.
“I wanted to do something for this special place where Sophie spent her last days with us. My friends have been fantastic all the way through Sophie’s illness and I am so proud that we did it together.”
The 2011 Midnight Walk in Stevenage kicks off from North Hertfordshire College at the stroke of Midnight on Saturday 4th June. From start to finish the course is ten miles and, as always, for ladies only. Men can still do their bit though by helping to marshal the event.
Clare added: “There’s always a great buzz on the night and again and again people come away saying it was one of the best things they’ve experienced. For the benefit of all the children and families we care for we’d love to see a huge crowd of ladies out on the town this June and are very grateful for everyone’s support.”
To join the Stevenage Midnight Walk or find out more please visit www.keech.org.uk/midnightwalk.