Lighting the way for Hospice’s fund-raisers

Fund-raisers taking part in last year's Lantern Walk organised by St Oswald's.
Fund-raisers taking part in last year's Lantern Walk organised by St Oswald's.
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A charity is looking to light the way for fund-raisers to remember a loved one this summer.

St Oswald’s Hospice is once again holding its Lantern Walk on Saturday, July 1 – but this time at its new home at the Rising Sun Country Park in Benton.

Walkers, each holding a paper lantern, will complete the 5km walk as the sun sets in memory of their loved ones.

Participants aged 12 years and over can register to take part and will receive a St Oswald’s T-shirt, coloured lantern and battery-operated candle.

They are asked to aim to raise £100 each towards the hospice’s work through sponsorship.

All funds raised will support local adults, young people and children with incurable conditions, throughout the North East.

New for the Lantern Walk this year is an online Memory Wall where supporters can email a photo of their loved one to enquiries@stoswaldsuk.org, and it will appear in a special gallery on the St Oswald’s website at www.stoswaldsuk.org/lantern-walk

Registration for the lantern walk is open now.

Adult registration is £15 and children aged ten to 12 can register for £10.

Participants can book their place online at www/stoswaldsuk.org/lantern-walk, call 0191 246 9123 or email fundraising@stoswaldsuk.org

For those unable to make the walk, donations can still be made and supporters will receive a thank-you letter with a photo of the lantern display.

John Drysdale, 75 from Newcastle, is taking part in St Oswald’s Lantern Walk again this year and remembering his wife, Linda, who died after spending a week cared for on the Hospice’s Inpatient Unit last year.

John said: “Linda and I were married 44 years and have one son, Jamie, and a granddaughter. Linda wasn’t just a wife, she was my soulmate.

“After spending seven weeks in hospital, a palliative care nurse suggested that Linda was referred to the Hospice.

“I remember vividly when I first came to St Oswald’s, I visited their chapel and it was like walking in to heaven.

“Before Linda came to the Hospice she was very agitated, but this subsided when she came to St Oswald’s, and she seemed so peaceful. The nurses were gentle and the care was brilliant.

“It was also great that, unlike at hospital, the family could visit and spend as much time with Linda as we wanted. We could just sit and talk to Linda, and even stay the night.

“This made such a massive difference to me and Linda and I wouldn’t have wanted her to be anywhere else. Even when she died, Linda looked so at peace.”

“My son, his partner and I took part in the Lantern Walk last year, and we’ll be taking part again this year.

“We loved it and it was a very special and meaningful way to celebrate Linda’s life.”

The fundraising event is sponsored by Weight Watchers and is in partnership with Smooth Radio.

Smooth Breakfast Show host will be on hand to host, along with music, entertainment, and a warm up before the walk gets on its way.