On the night of Saturday 11 June, the streets of Bath will be aglow with hundreds of women dressed in neon, walking to remember loved ones and support Dorothy House Hospice Care.
After a Covid hiatus, the much-loved Midnight Walk is returning, this year raising vital funds for the Hospice at Home service at Dorothy House. Providing compassionate free of charge care to those at the end of their lives, Dorothy House carers are there for loved ones throughout the small hours of the night, and this year women from across Bath and surrounding areas will be walking 5km through the night to fundraise for them.
Maggie Matthews, who has been a Dorothy House carer for thirty years, shared with us: “Almost every family we go in to support always say they can cope in the day, but it’s the nights they struggle with on their own. We make the patient comfortable, chat to them, and get them all they need during the night so their loved ones can have a good night’s sleep.”
Dorothy House’s emphasis has always been on caring for people in their own homes. To continue to fund this exceptional service, women aged 14+ are invited to sign up and take on the challenge of this fun midnight walk around the beautiful city of Bath. Everyone who signs up is asked to raise a minimum of £40 in sponsorship, or they can make a donation in lieu of sponsorship.
Sue Spanswick, a Hospice at Home carer at Dorothy House who has taken part several times said: “It’s the camaraderie of women that makes the Midnight Walk so special! The event is always well received in Bath and such a fun thing to do. The Midnight Walk raises awareness of Dorothy House – and as the Hospice is caring for people in their homes through the night, it’s great that the walkers are out at night fundraising for this excellent Hospice care! It’s a wonderful way for women to give back and you get that feel-good buzz from taking part.”
Every participant will receive an exclusive and free Midnight Walk t-shirt to wear on the night. The theme this year is ‘Get glowing in neon’ – so dress as groovy, crazy or colourful as you like – or just come as you are.
Emma Aiken-Jones, whose mother was cared for by Dorothy House, said: “It definitely adds to the atmosphere, the fact it takes place at night in the dark. The Midnight Walk is a really nice celebratory way of remembering someone that has benefitted from the work of Dorothy House, while supporting the charity. It’s fun and uniting – and a celebration of our loved ones. And actually, walking and talking with other women is really therapeutic.”
The walk kicks off at Bath Pavilion at 10pm with drinks, food, games and glowing event merchandise on offer. Then, after a funky group warm-up, it’s time to head off into the city at midnight to walk, talk… and shine!
Heather Cox a previous participant, is encouraging every woman to take part this year: “All of Dorothy House services are entirely free of charge, everything! When my mother was cared for it was free of charge – all the therapies, the treatments, everything. I wanted to give something back and the Walk lets me do that. It’s so special to walk at night. Everyone is there because they want to do some good, or because they are walking for a loved one, which is really special. So don’t hesitate – just do it and encourage everyone you can to join you. You will have an amazing time and you’ll want to do it again because it is just so magical!”
The Midnight Walk finishes with refreshments and celebrations at the Pavilion before the participants head home for a well-earned rest at 2am. So why not walk through the night for Dorothy House and help make a real difference in your community?