The lamp-lit streets of night-time St Albans are gearing up for one of Rennie Grove Hospice Care’s major fundraising events of the year when scores of walkers hit the City’s roads in support of the local charity.
Rennie Grove’s Moonlight Walk returns to St Albans on Saturday 23 September, starting and finishing at Westminster Lodge on Holywell Hill.
Eager walkers who have already signed up include those taking part in memory of lost loved ones, as well as work colleagues and school mums, friends and neighbours. Many are inspired to help fund Rennie Grove’s care and support for people with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses in Herts and Bucks, while others are simply keen to get on their walking shoes and keep fit.
There is still time to sign up for the 10-mile walk that goes through the grounds of Grove House next to St Albans City Hospital, where participants will be able to attach a padlock to a memory fence as a symbol of remembrance. Hot chocolate will also be available to help walkers on their way to the finishing line.
Prosecco is proving to be an important part of the training regime for Dawn Mason and friends who have been getting into shape for the event by walking the dog. The welcome glass of fizz that often accompanies their training get-togethers mean that there was really only one team name that seemed appropriate in the circumstances – This Deserves Prosecco!
“It’s a great cause, good exercise and should be a great laugh,” said Dawn who will be joined by fellow This Deserves Prosecco teammates Anita Norton and Caroline Clay.
Dawn and Anita, who will be making their Moonlight Walk debut, were inspired to take part by Caroline, who has completed the walk previously.
“We all decided it was such a good cause,” said Dawn who described how Rennie Grove helped care for a close friend while she was receiving treatment for breast cancer. “The Day Services at Grove House provided her with invaluable support at a time when she was most vulnerable,” Dawn added.
Also walking this year are The Misfits, a team of 7 work colleagues. Lia Nelissen from The Misfits said: “I saw the banner up in St Albans, came into work and emailed all my colleagues to see if anyone wanted to keep me company on this 10 mile walk in notoriously hilly St Albans. We’re looking forward to pushing ourselves for this worthy cause and also for the sense of achievement.”
You can register in advance by visiting the Support page on Rennie Grove’s website or by typing the term Moonlight Walk into the search bar. You can also register on the night between 6.30 and 7.30pm. Walkers will be fired up by a fun-filled warm-up at 7.30pm and will set off at 8pm. They will be especially eye-catching in the T-shirts and glo-sticks given to them on arrival at Westminster Lodge. Rennie Grove staff and volunteers will marshal the course to ensure everything goes smoothly and to hand out water and chocolate snacks along the route.
The Moonlight Walk is open to anyone of any age, although participants under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. The entry fee is £15.
“There is no minimum sponsorship, but it would be great if every walker could try to raise at least £50 each,” said Kate Grigg, Rennie Grove’s Head of Fundraising in Herts.
“That could fund two hours of specialist nursing care in a patient’s home or in our Day Hospice at Grove House, giving patients choice about how and where they receive care,” added Kate.
Walkers last year raised four times organisers’ hoped-for target and their generous sponsorship funded nearly 1,000 hours of specialist nursing care. “Our walkers did brilliantly and created such a buzz. It would be amazing to recreate that fantastic atmosphere and outcome again this year,” said Kate.
Visit our Moonight Walk page to sign uo.