Time is running out to register for Midnight Beach walk

Fund-raisers are being urged to sign up to the Weston Hospicecare event by Monday

CHARITY supporters are being urged to sign up to Weston Hospicecare's Midnight Beach Walk before registration closes on Monday.

The walk is being held to raise money for the hospice, which provides care for people suffering from life threatening illnesses.

Around 900 people have already registered for the event, which is supported by the Weston and Somerset Mercury, but the charity is hoping to get a record 1000 entrants.

Penny Beare, fundraising and communications manager for Weston Hospice Care, said: "There has never been an event like this in Weston. It is open to all age groups and is not competitive so people can do the walk at their own pace."

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The oldest person taking part will be a 77 year-old grandmother and the youngest will be 10-month-old twins, Penelope and Patience Asling.

The women-only event, which will take place along Weston beach on September 15, is hoping to raise £50,000 in sponsorship.

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Penny said: "We only receive 20 percent of our total running costs from the PCT, which means we have to raise the majority of our £1.7 million annual costs through grants and donations.

"If every walker managed to raise £100 we would be able to raise nearly £100,000, which would be excellent for the charity.

"We are also hoping this will be an event for people that want to remember loved ones they may have lost and do something for people that may be in a similar situation."

The five mile walk will follow a route from Uphill to Marine Lake and back.

The route will be marked out by marshals holding flares.

Walkers will be able to buy flashing headbands and aluminous necklaces on the night to light them up on their way round.

They will also have the opportunity to buy a candle of dedication bag, which will be placed along the beach.

These are a small white bag that they can right the name of a loved one on, each with a tea light inside.

The Orphans will entertain the crowds at the start.

* Participants are being urged to lift share and walk to the event as parking will be limited.

Those wanting to register for the walk should call the hospice fund-raising team on (01934) 423960.

? A WOMAN who was diagnosed with cancer whilst pregnant with twins will be walking to raise money for Weston Hospice Care.

Rebecca Asling, from Locking, learned she had the disease when she was 32 weeks pregnant and will be taking part in the Midnight Beach Walk to raise money for the charity which helps others suffering from similar illnesses.

Rebecca's pregnancy was induced after she was diagnosed with cancer so she could undergo chemotherapy as soon as possible.

Her twin girls, Penelope and Patience, now ten months old, were born early and placed in intensive care.

The 31-year-old, a teacher at Haygrove Shool in Bridgwater, said: "I absolutely refused to have a caesarean and so eventually convinced doctors to induce me so that I could give birth to my daughters naturally."

Penelope and Patience will be keeping Rebecca company during the walk, as well as her six-year-old daughter Phoebe.

Explaining why she is supporting the hospice, Rebecca said: "I want to support those people who have, or are, going through the experience of having cancer.

"I was pretty lucky with my reaction to the chemotherapy but I know people who have had it a lot worse than me and the hospice has helped them with this."

Rebecca who was given the all clear on April 30th, has been undergoing radiotherapy since but says she is now feeling absolutely fine.

? A PENSIONER from Weston will be taking part in the Midnight Beach Walk to celebrate her 75th birthday.

Grace Monk, of Westbrook Road, has several friends and relations who have suffered with cancer and decided this would be a good way to help them.

Her birthday is not until October 17, but the former clerk for Great Universal Services, believes this is a good way to mark the occasion.

Grace will be doing the walk with her friend Maureen Lucas and also her 50-year-old daughter, Sally Cole, who works for Glaxo Smith Kline.

She said: "Last year I saw a sponsored bike ride advertised, which was raising money for the charity Women to Women. I said I would like to do it if I was a bit younger.

"Sally offered to do it for me and the whole event raised more than £1million.

ñWhen I saw the five mile walk advertised by Weston Hospicecare I thought it would be the perfect opportunity for me to raise some money and do my own bit towards such a wonderful cause.

"My husband's cousin has been recently diagnosed with cancer. The issue is ongoing for everybody and could affect anyone."

Grace has five grandchildren ranging in age from 28 to 15, and she also has a 53-year-old son called Brian who is a computer engineer.

? SEVENTEEN staff members from Walker and Ling department store will be doing the Midnight Beach Walk in memory of a colleague's sister.

The women will be putting their best feet forward to raise money for Weston Hospicecare, which provided care for the sister of their co-worker Ruth Southway.

Ruth's sister, who lived in Axbridge, passed away seven years ago after suffering from cancer for around two years.

During her illness she stayed at the Uphill hospice a number of times before she died at the age of 50.

Ruth, aged 58, said: "Everyone at the hospice was brilliant. We were allowed to stay with my sister for several days and nights when she was there.

"At Walker and Ling we all work together in a close team and we have all lost loved ones at some point and been there for each other. This is a good way for my friends to show their support."

Before her sister was diagnosed with cancer, Ruth had been to the as part of a group she had called Labour of Love.

Ruth and a number of other members of the group would make cakes and hold coffee mornings in aid of the hospice.

She added: "I have always supported the hospice and any spare things I have always go to its charity shop."

"My colleagues at the store are hoping to raise £1,000, which I can only speak highly of. None of us know when we will need the service."

? A TEAM of 10 friends will be dong the Midnight Beach Walk in memory Carol Evans, a year and one day after she died.

The women, who call themselves Carol's team, are raising money to remember their friend who died after a short battle with cancer.

During her illness, Carol, a former care home nurse, stayed at the hospice regularly.

Her sister, Andy Ham, from Biddisham, said: "This is a particular poignant time for us as the beach walk falls a year and one day after the date Carol passed away. We all decided we wanted to give something back to the hospice.

"Staff at the hospice were very supportive through what was an extremely difficult time for us and the whole family.

"They were so kind and welcoming, allowing us to stay with her as often as we liked.

"The hospice felt more like a home than a hospital and was a more comforting environment for Carol to be in."

Carol died at the age of 47 and left two sons, aged 18 and 12.

Andy, aged 50, will be doing the walk along with Carol's friend Alison Hippisley and two members of her family, Jenni and Annie Rowland, who all live in Weston.

Andy's friend Denise Marsh, from Biddisham, who is a yoga teacher will be joining the team and will also be hosting the warm-up session for the Midnight Beach Walk.

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