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Bad weather didn’t dampen spirits at KEMP’s first ever memory walk

Walkers at KEMP Hospice Midnight Memories Walk

KEMP Hospice say torrential rain ahead of their inaugural Midnight Memories Walk in the Wyre Forest on Friday didn’t dampen the spirits of the hundreds who took part.

Over 200 people braved earlier heavy rain and cooler temperatures to join together for the 5km trek through the forest at Bewdley, where the Worcestershire hospice hosted an evening of fun, laughter, entertainment and memories.

The Wyre Forest charity are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year and this was the first time that they had hosted a fundraising event designed to remember loved ones who had died and to bring together men and women for a charity walk. The route through the forest on Friday night saw fundraisers take in a very special ‘Memory Tree’ that had been placed in honour of their loved ones by KEMP in the forest’s arboretum.

KEMP Hospice Event Fundraiser Shelley Stanley said that they weren’t prepared to let the Great British weather put a dampener on a night of celebration: “During the week I kept a close eye on the weather and at one point I thought we might have to cancel. However, people who had registered told me they would walk whatever the weather so that they could honour their loved ones. Faced with that sort of love and determination we simply had to carry on. I’m blown away by the number of people who braved the rain, and it was so humbling to see so many people sharing their stories with one another about their friends and relatives who were no longer here. I want to especially thank the volunteers who gave up their evening to help register everyone in and also marshal the 5km route, and to everyone who took part – you are KEMP heroes!”

This year was the first time that men and women took part in one of KEMP’s Midnight Walks and saw entertainment in the forest in the form of a Pink tribute concert, a forest disco, a specially made ‘Memory Wall’ and ‘Memory Tree’ and food and drink throughout the night.

KEMP were supported by local businesses at Midnight Memories Walk including: Oakleaf CS, Phase One AV, Loxley Scaffolding Limited, Standard Motor Transport, Momma Wood’s Bar, Vasight, Signal 107, Forestry England, Colin Hill Photography and Marvin Cox Grounds Maintenance.

All money raised at the KEMP Hospice Midnight Memories Walk will go towards helping to care and support families in the Wyre Forest area who are dealing with life-limiting illnesses and bereavement. Sponsorship money or donation for this year’s walk need to be returned to KEMP Hospice at 41 Mason Road, Kidderminster, DY11 6AG by Monday 1st July. Please contact: fundraising@kemphospice.org.uk or call 01562 756077 to pay over the phone.