St Clare Hospice's Walking in Memory remembrance event welcomes 260 bereaved people
More than £10,000 was raised for St Clare Hospice when bereaved families took part in the charity's first ever remembrance walk.
Some 260 people turned out to support its inaugural Walking in Memory event, a 5k stroll through the Essex countryside around the hospice's base in Hastingwood, near Harlow, which gave them the chance to pay tribute to their lost loved ones.
Sarah Thompson, St Clare's chief executive, said: "Seeing so many people gather at St Clare to remember and celebrate the lives of family members, friends and loved ones was beautiful and touching.
"It just really brought home to us the importance of community and supporting each other when facing loss and bereavement – and what an honour it is to be able to host an event like Walking in Memory for the people of West Essex and East Herts.”
On the day of the walk, participants were given a hand-held windmill that they personalised in memory of their loved ones. Emma Broadbent, the charity's events fundraiser, said that a highlight for her was seeing the memorial display of "a sea of windmills gently turning in the breeze.
"It was such a poignant moment when the windmill display was complete – hundreds of windmills, each representing someone who is dearly missed, standing together around our hospice pond."
The £10,000 was raised through entrance fees and sponsorship. "The money that we raised at Walking in Memory will be channelled directly into supporting local people at the end of life, and throughout bereavement, today and for years to come,” said Emma.