The 12th St Barnabas House Night to Remember walk was a poignant and uplifting experience for the 940 men, women and children who lit up the streets of Worthing on Saturday 29 June.
Sponsorship money is still coming in, but together, the walkers are on track to raise over £111,000 for the Hospice at Home night service which provides hospice care in patients’ homes during the night-time hours – often the most difficult time for families. The money raised by walkers is enough to pay for 76 days and nights of all the care provided by the Hospice at Home team.
Walkers set off from Worthing Leisure Centre in a flurry of neon and flashing lights at 10.30pm on Saturday, and chose to walk either a seven, 13.1 (half marathon) or challenging 20-mile route. The last walkers crossed the finish line after 6.30am on Sunday morning.
Many of those taking part in Night to Remember were walking in memory of family and friends who have been cared for by the hospice.
Twins, Rebecca and Claire Eaglestone, 30 from Surrey, took on the seven mile route in memory of their father, David Eaglestone, who lived in Ferring.
They said: “The atmosphere has been amazing. Almost everyone here knows someone who has been supported by St Barnabas, so we’re all here for a similar reason.
“After our Dad was diagnosed with lung cancer, he received incredible care from the Hospice at Home team for the three days before he passed away in November 2017. The nurses came in throughout the day and night and made sure he was pain free, comfortable and clean. They were always there for us too, to answer our questions, which made the process a bit less scary. We’re so grateful for the ongoing care we’ve received since he passed away, including bereavement support and memorial services. We’re sure Dad would be really proud of us.”
Mark Green, 50 from Littlehampton, joined together with friends and family to walk on what would have been his father’s birthday.
Mark said: “Our team, The Wanderers, are walking in honour of my Dad on his special day. He was cared for right up until the end in the old St Barnabas premises, before the hospice moved to the new site. The care he received was excellent, so we want do everything we can to help others in a similar position. Together we’ve raised £700.”
Millie Pinnell, 11 from Lancing, walked through the night in memory of her Grandad Brucey.
Millie said: “I’ve taken part with my family because my Grandad Brucey loved walking and I hope that he enjoyed the walk with me.
“He was cared for at home by the Hospice at Home team in January 2017. The nurses were so nice, they chatted to all of us and we became like friends. They really helped my Grandad, so it’s nice to be able to give something back.
“I’m doing the seven mile route in an Albion football shirt as he loved football and every year he used to tease me and say he was going to buy me a football shirt. I’m quite a girly girl, so that was the last thing I wanted! But I decided that if I raised over £100, I would wear one for him. He would be smiling tonight.”
St Barnabas House Hospice at Home Manager, Kathy Mardle-Aylett cheered on walkers alongside fellow colleagues from the Hospice at Home team.
Kathy said: “It was an incredible night and the atmosphere was electric. Every year it truly amazes me to see so many local people uniting and walking to support St Barnabas House.
“The demand for our Hospice at Home night service is growing and in 2018/19 our team provided 377 night sit visits, delivering over 3,403 hours of care. The money raised from Night to Remember will go towards extending this service to allow more families to rest knowing there is somebody sitting with their loved one overnight.
“On behalf of everyone at St Barnabas House, I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to everyone involved in Night to Remember. Whether you were a volunteer, corporate sponsor, or one of the 940 walkers who took part, we are incredibly grateful for your support.”
Also in attendance was the new Mayor of Worthing, Hazel Thorpe, alongside husband, Robin Rogers and Youth Mayor, Jimi Taylor.
Hazel said: “The atmosphere has been electric. It’s superb to see so many people come together for the same cause. We all have someone we have lost and can spend time remembering on this special night. For me, it’s our late friend and President of the Worthing Lions, Marian Down, who was cared for by St Barnabas House.”
To find out more about upcoming events for St Barnabas House and how you can show your support, visit www.stbh.org.uk/events