Rowans Hospice Woofs and Wellies Walk raises thousands for hospice
FUND raisers of the four legged variety were joined by owners at the annual Rowans Hospice Festive Woofs and Wellies walk.
More than 100 dogs took part in the 3 kilometre and 6 kilometre walks at the Queen Elizabeth Country Park with the target of raising more than £5,000 for the much loved hospice.
For many walkers it was the chance to “give something back” for the palliative care and support Rowans provided for family members.
Jean Richards, 72, was walking in memory of her late father, Leslie Britcher, who passed away from cancer in 2003.
Jean said: ‘Ever since my father died we love to get involved with the Rowans. They do such a fantastic job and it’s an opportunity to show our support. We do this walk every year and the atmosphere is brilliant.’
Jean’s daughter, Becky Hussey, 50, added: ‘My grandfather loved dogs and would have really enjoyed this walk. Even in his latter years he would regularly come and walk my dog, George. Whenever we do this walk we think about him.’
Fellow walker, Hazel Webb, witnessed first-hand the care afforded to her sister who had a brain cavernoma.
Hazel said: ‘My sister loved Christmas and the staff went out of their way to decorate her room with festive decorations. As soon as you walk into Rowans there’s such a lovely atmosphere.’
Mandy and Carl Thompson, who were taking part in the walk with Jack Russells Teddy and Henry, were keen to highlight the hospice’s role in providing support not just for patients.
Mandy said: ‘My brother, Jon Winn, died from a brain tumour 10 years ago and the staff looked after him so well. They also provided so much support for myself and my family. Rowans is such a big part of the local community.’
While participants had to raise a minimum of £25, many walkers far exceeded this amount,
Sarah Godling, who was walking as part of a team from Biscoes Solicitors, said: ‘One of our members of staff has raised £200 since yesterday.’
With annual costs of £7.2 million per year, only 14 per cent of which is provided by central government, fundraising events are vital for the hospice.
Chief executive officer, Ruth White, commented: ‘The money raised from today’s event goes towards funding the everyday services we provide.’