May is National Walking Month and to celebrate an Essex-wide Hospice charity is encouraging supporters to take on a trekking challenge or sign up for its annual walk.
Havens Hospices - which includes Fair Havens Hospice, Little Havens Hospice and The J’s Hospice - are looking for trekkers and walkers to join Team Havens at numerous treks over the summer and their Havens to Havens Walk which is back for its twelfth year in September.
The charity has joined forces with local walking fitness company Simply Stride to offer training for anyone who is trekking for Havens Hospices this year; especially the National Three Peaks which will see Team Havens climbing Ben Nevis, Scaffel Pike and Snowdon – the highest peaks in Scotland, England and Wales - in 24 hours over the first weekend of July.
Simply Stride is not only helping Havens Hospices by holding monthly Sunday training sessions, many of its members who go walking together on a Saturday have also signed up to join the charity at their annual walk this autumn
‘The Striders’ will join hundreds of other walkers for the Havens to Havens Walk on Sunday 1st September. Starting at Little Havens Hospice in Thundersley, supporters will walk along a five-mile route through the beautiful grounds of Hadleigh Castle, Old Leigh and along Chalkwell’s coastline to Fair Havens Hospice.
Once at Fair Havens, participants will get to enjoy a cream tea, before heading back to Little Havens to collect their medals either by following another five-mile route through Leigh-on-Sea and Belfairs Woods or by getting on a free coach.
Many of the walkers take part in memory of a loved one who has been cared for by Havens Hospices within the home, in the community and at their two hospices. Team member of ‘The Striders’, Diane Hunt, 71 from Southend is walking in-memory of her Mum – Grace who was diagnosed with lung cancer in September 1989, unfortunately, the cancer had spread to her brain, she died just three-months later.
“My Mum wasn’t cared for by Havens Hospices, but I wish she had been – this year is the 30th anniversary of losing her, so I decided to mark it by signing up to walk for a charity that helps so many families who, like mine are affected by a life-limiting illness like cancer and this event is ideal for me as I’m a keen walker and many of my friends from Simply Stride are joining me.
“What I love about walking is the fresh air, the time it gives you to think and clear your head and you get to see so much more than when you’re in a car. I’m looking forward to exploring Hadleigh and Old Leigh with my fellow Striders, we’re all hoping to do the full ten miles on the day, but I’ll have to see how my feet are feeling at the halfway point! I hope that many others sign up to help raise money for a fantastic charity and fall in love with walking as much as I did and as I always say - it doesn’t matter how fast or slow you walk, just keep walking.”
For more information about the trekking challenges and Havens to Havens Walk please click here.