Ipswich’s Midnight Walk to go ahead this year – with a twist
PUBLISHED: 00:00 21 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:54 22 July 2020
ST ELIZABETH HOSPICE
The popular Midnight Walk for St Elizabeth Hospice is to go ahead this year, albeit in a new socially distanced way.
Neon-cladded walkers will again take on the streets of Ipswich for the events 14th year in September, in a bid to help the hospice through the coronavirus pandemic.
But unlike other years, when thousands make their way through the town, fundraisers are asked instead to organise a sponsored walk individually or in small groups – at any time of the day.
The event is instead being named the Virtual Midnight Walk, and will run for a week from September 19, with those taking part encouraged to share photos of their challenges online to decorate the hospice’s social media channels with colour.
Becky Jedrzejewski, events and challenges fundraiser at St Elizabeth Hospice, said she hopes the party atmosphere will not be lost as a result of the new plans.
Ms Jedrzejewski said: “We explored all routes to continuing the Midnight Walk in the same way we normally would but unfortunately this was not possible and as a result we have chosen to do a virtual event to ensure the safety of our supporters and to comply with government guidelines.
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“We are really excited to see participants sharing their Midnight Walk experiences across social media to help take Suffolk’s biggest party online.”
Walkers are encouraged to do their walks during the daytime, with walkers of any age (children accompanied by an adult), able to pick any route as long as they complete the usual six or ten mile walks – or the new 10km and half marathon distances. People can also pick a distance based on their ability.
The walk comes as the charity continues to fight back against financial struggles caused by the coronavirus outbreak, with lockdown forcing fundraises events to be postponed or cancelled. All of its 31 shops also had to close.
Ms Jedrzejewski added: “Throughout lockdown we have been so grateful for all the help and donations from the community in support of our #HereTogether campaign which is vital to ensuring we can provide our much needed service to patients and their families throughout East Anglia.
“The Midnight Walk is always such a special event, full of celebration and people marking the memory of their loved ones and this year will be the same and we wish all who take part the best of luck and thank them for their efforts.”
The charity is hoping the event will help finish its £250,000 #HereTogether fundraising campaign, with the hospice so far having raised £198,000.
Those who would like to take part must pay their £13 registration fee, and can sign up here.
Donations to the campaign can be made here.
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