dpm is a Birmingham-based freelancer with experience of arts and lifestyle features.
Fun for all the family
People of all ages are invited to the John Taylor Hospice Birthday Walk and Fun Day.
Taking place on Sunday 2 October the event, at Hollyfields Centre in Erdington, will feature a host of activities including face painting, sports and art activities.
People have the choice to take part in a short family-friendly 4 mile walk, a longer 14 mile walk or simply enjoy the Fun Day.
Join the start line at John Taylor Hospice's Birthday Walk
Joining hundreds of other walkers will be the Whitehouse family who are signing up for the third year running. The family, who together with friends totalled more than 20 walkers of all ages at last year's event, have a special reason for supporting John Taylor Hospice after staff there cared for Carole Whitehouse in 2014.
Carole's husband Alan, aged 66 of Castle Bromwich, explains: "Carole was cared for at John Taylor Hospice for her last days in February of 2014 and everyone was absolutely wonderful and so caring. All the staff gave so much to all of our family – there was nothing they wouldn't do for us. They were just so loving – I really want to thank them."
And to say thank you the family are already gathering numbers for this year's Birthday Walk.
Alan adds: "We first did the Birthday Walk two years ago when Sophie was working at the hospice and suggested we all go. It is such a lovely event. It's the camaraderie, everyone is really happy and walking together and all walking with one aim - to support the hospice. It brings everyone together, I'm always stopping to talk to other people and everyone is always really friendly."
Last year the Birthday Walk was more poignant for the Whitehouse family as they were taking part in memory of Carole but they still enjoyed being with other people who had experienced John Taylor Hospice's care and support.
"It's really good for the all the family," adds Alan. "When you arrive and you see all these people with balloons and being happy together, it's a lovely warm feeling."
The Whitehouse family at last year's Birthday Walk
John Taylor's Birthday Walk and Fun Day celebrates five years since the hospice became independent of the NHS. Taking place at Hollyfields in Woodacre Road, it features a four mile wheelchair, pushchair and dog friendly route and a more challenging 14 mile route.
Head of fundraising Katie Mitchell says: "This year we're combining our Birthday Walk with a Fun Day for all ages and we'd love to see you there.
"Not only do our walkers have a fun day but they are also raising money to support the hospice. Each pound raised goes towards providing essential care for local families. It costs £14,000 each day to run all of our services and our walkers, along with those who sponsor them, are helping us continue to be there for families like Alan's when they need us."
The doors open at Hollyfields at 9.30am with the walks beginning at 10.30am and families have the chance to enjoy activities both before and after the walks. People of all ages and dogs are welcome. Registration costs £5 per walker and walkers are asked to register in advance here or call 0121 465 2000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a registration form. People who are not walking but would like to attend the Fun Day do not need to register or pay the £5 registration fee.