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Gather with family and friends to join hundreds of walkers, starting out from Hospice in the Weald, Pembury, on the 6-mile walk which meanders through the beautiful Dunorlan Park past the warm glow of the lake, before returning to the Hospice.
There will a lantern decoration station, glitter face painting and live music, along with free hot chocolate and warm doughnut for every walker. Lanterns carried on the walk can be set down in the Labyrinth at the heart of the Hospice’s gardens, where walkers can stay a while to remember loved ones and reflect on their life.
Starlight Stroll is particularly special to Hospice supporter Carol, of Edenbridge. Carol took part in Starlight Stroll last year with her two grandchildren and is volunteering as a marshal this year, to give something back after the Hospice supported her and her husband, Stephen, who died at the Hospice in May 2020. After his diagnosis of incurable kidney cancer, the Hospice was able to support Stephen as he learnt to live with cancer, offering complementary therapies, counselling and support to both him and Carol.
Carol remained by Stephen’s side throughout his illness, even donating a kidney, and has continued to be supported by the Hospice since trying to come to terms with his death. Since Stephen’s death, Carol has found enormous comfort from visiting the Hospice grounds and her special place is the bench by the Labyrinth and the Memory Orchard where there are two leaves in Stephen’s memory. Stephen’s room at the Hospice overlooked both and it was where they spent his final days together. This is also where Starlight Stroll walkers come to rest their lanterns at the end of the walk.
“Stephen was very funny, matter of fact, down to earth and great fun. He was my best friend and soulmate and there is a huge hole in my life without him,” Carol says.
She says, “People should sign up to do the Starlight Stroll because it’s directly supporting people like me and Stephen who need help navigating difficult circumstances like terminal cancer. Losing someone is hard but I can’t begin to think how awful these last years would have been without the support of the Hospice. They have been there since Stephen’s diagnosis and never left. Stephen’s nurse was simply amazing.”
Jenny Connolly, Relationship Fundraising Manager at Hospice in the Weald, commented:
“Sharing memories and walking in the crisp evening air around the scenic Kent countryside under a starlit sky is a truly magical experience. Starlight Stroll is particularly special as it’s designed for the family and friends of those supported by the Hospice, to unite and remember them, whilst raising vital funds for Hospice in the Weald. We hope as many people as possible will come to join us.”
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