Well done to all the 700 women who walked 10 miles from midnight last night [May 19] in Eastbourne, raising over £71,000 for Chestnut Tree House – the only children’s hospice in Sussex. It was an amazing event with such positive excitement and energy and so well organised. Click here to see the Midnight walkers set off
I met several incredible mums who have benefited from Chestnut Tree House’s help, including a very brave young woman called Gemma Croucher whose baby lived for just 24 days and died exactly three months ago from a heart condition. She and 30 friends and family were walking in baby Finlay’s memory and his dad, Kevin, was also volunteering as a marshal on the night.
Gemma said: “Chestnut Tree House helped us so much – they organised Finlay’s funeral and they had so much love and support for us, it was amazing. Doing the walk tonight is our way of giving back to them.”
Other Chestnut Tree House mums included Jackie Hoadley, whose son Matthew is in hospital in London right now and support workers from the hospice are even helping there. Marie Baker’s six-year-old daughter Amy has Dravet syndrome and regularly uses the hospice, allowing her mum to get some sleep and relax in the knowledge that she is safe and enjoying herself.
Marie said: “We’re so grateful for all the help and support we get from Chestnut Tree House, we do this walk every year to say thank you and do our bit.”
Tandy Hearne’s five-year-old Sasha has cerebral palsy, epilepsy and feeding difficulties and she says the hospice gives her a chance to be something other than be a nurse sometimes and to just be a mum to her other three children, Jake, Jodie and Kiaran, aged six to 16.
Zoe Gilbert was there with a group of friends dressed up in wild purple gear as ‘Connor’s Angels’ in memory of her son Connor, who died aged seven six years ago. She said: “I don’t know what I’d have done without Chestnut Tree House.”
Stacey Leigh was there doing the walk for the second time and said that her 11-year-old Aimee loves it at the hospice and that it is ‘absolutely brilliant’.
And of course, there were hundreds of other fantastic women there, including the Natural PR team led by Kat Ratcliffe, who just wanted to raise funds for this important cause, which any one of us might need one day. Find out more at www.nighttoremember.org.uk