The waiting is over and now the Big Push is on to get to our £1m goal

ALL TOGETHER Amanda Mahoney, left, Havant Mayor Cllr Ken Smith and Angela Roystone

ALL TOGETHER Amanda Mahoney, left, Havant Mayor Cllr Ken Smith and Angela Roystone

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FUNDRAISERS are limbering up and making last-minute preparations for a huge charity bed push which will finally get under way tomorrow.

The event in aid of the Rowans Hospice has been months in the planning.

More than 60 people will take part in the Big Push, which will see a custom-designed bed pushed by relay teams all the way from the hospice in Purbrook Heath to Canoe Lake in Southsea.

Those taking part in the fun include Rowans’ nurses, staff and volunteers, firefighters, naval personnel and police officers.

Led by a fire engine, the bed pushers and their supporters will cover 10 miles in a bid to help get to the magic £1m target for the Dorothy’s Dream appeal.

The appeal, which was launched in September last year, is just £279,000 away from becoming a reality.

When they reach their target, staff at the Rowans can launch their long-awaited hospice at home service.

The service will support people who choose to spend their last days in the comfort of their own homes.

The campaign is named after Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, who famously said: ‘There’s no place like home’.

The Mayor of Havant, Councillor Ken Smith, will have the honour of starting the bed push at the hospice tomorrow at 9am.

He said: ‘The Dorothy’s Dream campaign is a fantastic appeal.

‘I’m very excited about taking part in the bed push, it will be a great event and a lot of fun.

‘We hope the public will come out and support us.’

The bed will be pushed along the road, with supporters walking alongside on the pavements.

No roads will be closed for the event.

Members of the public can line the streets and cheer on the bed pushers if they wish to.

Or you can meet the bed push team at any of the gateways they will be stopping at to collect donations.

The first location will be at Cosham High Street where the bed will arrive at about 10am.

The next stop is at Commercial Road where the bed is expected to roll up about 11.30am.

Then it’s full steam ahead to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard where the bed pushers aim to arrive by 12.30pm.

The hover terminal on Clarence Esplanade on Southsea seafront will be the next stop, and the bed is expected to arrive at about 2pm.

The team will then make the final push along the seafront to Canoe Lake, arriving about 3pm.

There, the Rowans will host a Big Picnic, which will start at 2pm and finish at 5pm.

Everyone is invited to bring along some food and drink, a picnic blanket or chair, and enjoy live music and more fundraising for the Dorothy’s Dream appeal.

Erika Lipscombe, matron at The Rowans Hospice, who will be walking the whole 10-mile route of the Bed Push, said she was looking forward to a day of fun and fundraising.

‘I hope that everyone will turn out tomorrow to support us and throw some money in the buckets ,’ she said.

‘I think the bed push will be an absolutely amazing experience for everyone involved.’

If you cannot make the bed push tomorrow but would like to donate to Dorothy’s Dream, call the hospice on (023) 9223 8531.

You can also visit rowanshospice.co.uk for information. Or text ‘Dream’ to 70800 to donate £5.

The Route

STARTING from the Rowans Hospice in Purbrook at 9am, the Big Push participants will make their way down London Road to Cosham High Street for 10am.

It will continue onto Portsmouth Road, over the Portsbridge Roundabout in Hilsea, and onto Fawley Road before travelling down London Road and Kingston Road in North End. It turns right onto Lake Road, down Commercial Road, through to Queen Street and The Hard in Portsea, before snaking down St Georges Road and Museum Road in Southsea.

The route then travels onto Kings Terrace, Jubilee Terrace and Pier Road before a trek across the seafront along Clarence Esplanade and South Parade, ending at Canoe Lake.

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