25/03/2010

Stepping Out For Hospice Funds

The Northern Ireland Hospice is calling on the public to put a spring in their step and get registered for Hospice Big Walk Week.

Boosting the call to register, UTV's Julian Simmons and 'Mrs Walker', Olivia Nash have appealed to the public to support NI's biggest family walking event, now in its 30th year.

This year the Hospice event continues to secure 12 walks across NI including a challenge trek in the Mournes. A target of £200,000 has been set to help support the annual fundraising target of over £5 million.

Speaking at the launch event in Carrickfergus, Olivia Nash (pictured here with Hospice nurse, Ashley Leathem, and UTV's Julian Simmons) said: "With twelve walks across Northern Ireland, every age and fitness level is catered for.

"There's no excuse for not digging out the trainers from the back of the wardrobe and stepping out for Hospice!

"It's a great opportunity to get the family together especially after such a long and cold winter. It's now time to get up and out, have some craic along the way and raise money for Hospice."

The success of Hospice Big Walk Week over the years has been attributed to the long standing volunteers and supporters who give up their time so willingly to help. Speaking about the generosity of Hospice supporters Joanna Pawson, Fundraising Manager at Northern Ireland Hospice said: "The success of the Hospice Walk event has grown from humble beginnings.

"Thirty years ago ten campaigners and later the founders of Northern Ireland Hospice, walked around Belfast City Centre to raise awareness of the need for a hospice.

"Today and because of the ongoing support and generous public Hospice services have grown.

"Last year we were able to provide care free of charge to over 3,000 patients and their families. Hospice wants to do more and we hope people will walk and raise vital funds so that people in their local area receive the care they need."

Registering is easy visit www.nihospice.org or call the walk hotline on 90 777123 for you fundraising walk pack.

(BMcC/GK)

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