‘Heart of Hospice’ Rowans team to lead midnight fundraising walk

A TEAM of hospice staff known as the Heart of the Hospice are set for some cardio - by leading this year's Moonlit Memories Walk around Portsmouth.

Monday, 29th April 2019, 7:13 pm
Updated Monday, 29th April 2019, 7:18 pm
Nurses and Healthcare Support Workers with their banner outside of the hospice. Picture: Vernon Nash (260419-004)

The annual nighttime walk will raise funds for Rowans Hospice, a charity that provides end of life care.

For several staff, their participation will see them walk alongside the families they have supported and remember their own loved ones who received the hospice's care.

Lisa Oldham, a health support worker, said: 'This is the first year I have done it.

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Rowans Hospice Moonlit Memories Walk Launch - Senior Staff Nurse Trudy Wells and Staff Nurse Jackie Nithsdale. Picture: Vernon Nash (260419-018)

'I've been on both sides of the hospice, because my mum had been cared for by the hospice - so it’s nice to give something back.'

For Katie Jerram, a senior speciality doctor, the walk is an opportunity to say "thank you" to the rest of the team at the charity, which cared for her mother.

She said: 'Rowans Hospice cared for my mum two years ago when she was dying of cancer, managing her with skill, compassion and humour.

'I've have seen from both sides the incredible impact Rowans can have on patients and families at the hardest times.'

The hospice, which does not charge for any of its care, requires more than £6.5m each year to continue it work, with it aiming to raise more than £125,000 from the memorial walk. More than 80 per cent of the organisation's funding comes from fundraising by the community.

Nurse Jill Saunders, who co-ordinates the team, said: 'I've worked at other hospices, but what makes Rowans different is that it is part of the community - much more so than any other place I have worked in.

'It feels to me like it belongs to the people of Portsmouth.'

Last year, more than 1,300 people took part in a mass zumba lesson before setting off. This year's walk is open to entrants as young as 11 for the first time.

Jill added: 'Some of the team are going to bring their children, their dogs - maybe even their husbands.'

Walkers can take part in either a six-mile or 10-mile route, both starting at Castle Field, Southsea, at 10pm on Saturday, June 15.