The hugely popular Midnight Walk and Men’s Day Out have been cancelled “until safer times next year,” chiefs at St Luke’s Hospice Plymouth have confirmed.
The two annual flagship fundraising events, which raise thousands for the local hospice, will no longer go ahead this summer following official safety advice relating to mass events during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Hospice chiefs were hoping to postpone the events but have unfortunately had to cancel them instead, they say.
They recognise the disappointment this news will bring, but are urging the public to continue to support the charity by getting involved in individual fundraising activities.
St Luke’s will be running a “Make your own Midnight walk” campaign from July 24 to August 31.
Sponsored by Nash & Co solicitors, the new campaign invites people across the region to set their own sponsored walk “while raising much-needed funds so St Luke’s can continue helping the local families who so desperately need us.”
In a statement from the hospice, staff said: “Whether participants choose to walk, jog or run, and whether they take on the challenge solo, with members of their household – children are welcome – or friends (including the four-legged variety!), their personalised event will be an opportunity to have fun – safely – in the great outdoors
“For the many who look forward to taking part in Men’s Day Out and Midnight Walk as a tribute to their lost loves ones, it is also a chance to keep the memory of that special person alive and celebrate their life.”
Head of Fundraising at St Luke’s, Penny Hannah added: “Over the years, Men’s Day Out and our ladies’ Midnight Walk have become legendary in our city with thousands taking part.
“They’ve done us proud, highlighting the need for local hospice care and raising hundreds of thousands of pounds to ensure our vital service continues.
“Cancelling both events for this year is disappointing for our supporters and us, but it’s the right thing to do to protect our community during the pandemic.
“It does mean though, that alternative ways of fundraising are key to our charity surviving in these uncertain times.
“That’s why we’re calling on existing supporters and new to sign up to Make your own Midnight Walk.
“Not only is registering easy and completely free of charge, there’s the flexibility to do everything from a gentle walk or jog to a full-on marathon distance.
We now have a free app and here’s how to download it
Sign up to our newsletters for all the latest near you
“Stay close to your own doorstep or head to a favourite destination, as long as it is safe to do so.
“What counts is taking part because it’s the sponsorship raised by sharing your JustGiving page with family, friends and neighbours that will help keep St Luke’s doing what we do best, being the professional comfort blanket our patients and their families need now more than ever.
“This is a great opportunity for people of all ages to have fun while doing good in their community, before we can all come together again for our mass participation events in safer times.”
To sign up and to get more information to Make your own Midnight Walk, visit www.stlukesmidnightwalk.co.uk
Plymouth Live understands people who had already signed up to Men’s Day Out or Midnight Walk have been contacted by St Luke’s via email to explain the cancellation process.