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Walk for fitness, walk for fun, walk for a loved on
Birmingham's John Taylor Hospice is inviting local communities to join together for its family-friendly Birthday Walk event.
The annual walk marks the hospice's birthday and organisers are keen for families who have been touched by hospice care to register to take part.
Hannah Bryant from Sutton Coldfield, who is a maths tutor, wants to show her support for the hospice that cared for her dad by walking for the second year in a row.
Hannah at last year's Birthday Walk
The hospice does wonderful work caring for people who are going through particularly difficult times," said Hannah, aged 27. "It is so important to me that the hospice continues to thrive… I want it to be there for other families just as it was there for us."
Hannah lost her father Dave Fisher to a brain tumour in 2007, shortly after her 20th birthday. Dave was 52 years old.
The weeks before Dad died were incredibly difficult and immensely stressful for my family, especially my mum," said Hannah. "John Taylor Hospice made it possible for Mum to spend every moment at Dad's side. She slept beside him every night and the hospice became our home – to this day it's still a place of tranquillity and solace for us."
The Fisher family including Hannah's mum Nadine and brothers Thomas and James walked alongside other family members at last year's event. They were celebrating not just the hospice's birthday but also a milestone birthday for much-loved and dearly missed Dave.
Dad would've been 60 last October," said Hannah. "So my whole family got together to support the hospice, share memories and say a big happy birthday to Dad. The route wasn't too far for my young daughters to walk and it gave them a chance to hear stories about their granddad – it was a great atmosphere."
This year the Birthday Walk will take place on Sunday October 4 – the same day as Hannah's dad's birthday.
We'll definitely go again," added Hannah. "There's just such a lovely sense of pride and togetherness about the day – families from all walks of life in unison promoting how wonderful the hospice is and has been to them. It's really uplifting."
Birthday Walk organiser Liz Wood said: "We know that our Birthday Walk event is very special to a lot of families and it's a pleasure to bring local communities together in times of remembrance and celebration.
"Walking is also a great way to keep fit and catch up with friends and family while taking in a bit of fresh air.
"This year to celebrate our fourth birthday we're launching a brand new walking route and hope to see lots of new faces taking part. We're also encouraging people to be sponsored for the event."
John Taylor Hospice's Birthday Walk
In addition to the fully marshalled 3.5 mile route, walkers can now choose to walk a more challenging 9 miles as part of John Taylor Hospice's Birthday Walk.
The event is expected to attract around hundreds of people and is set to raise £8,000 for the hospice through collection buckets at the hotel, sponsorship forms and online donations.
"Every penny we raise at the Birthday Walk will help us to make every moment matter for our patients and their families," said Liz. "We opened in 1910, making us the oldest non-denominational hospice in the UK. In 2011 we became independent from the NHS and today more than 600 people across Birmingham and the West Midlands will receive the care they need from us."
Doors will open at 9.30am at the Ramada Hotel in Sutton Coldfield where registration takes place. Refreshments will also be available along with stalls and activities. Registered walkers will set off at 10.30am, finishing early in the afternoon.