On Saturday 2nd July 2016, Horsham Park hosted the much revered and fondly regarded St Catherine’s Hospice Midnight Walk.
A household name for many, St Catherine’s Hospice in Crawley provides end-of-life care to patients in Crawley, Horsham, Mid-Sussex and East Surrey. In its 9th year, the walk is a very popular local fundraiser. For our employees, this year’s walk had an even deeper significance, as it marks our 30th birthday we thought it an opportune moment to show our support to our community and to the much loved organisation, and sponsor the event!
In the run up to the fundraiser, around 400 people signed up to complete a 7, 13 or 20 mile route through the night in Horsham and St Catherine’s Hospice busily prepared. They set a beach theme, despatched around 400 fuchsia pink “I’m ditching my beauty sleep” t-shirts and encouraged people to fundraise as much as they could for the cause. At Assurity Consulting, we hired a photo-booth for the night, ordered 450 tubes of jelly beans for the walkers and rallied a troop of 6 volunteer walkers and 3 volunteer marshals from our team.
Early Saturday evening, the rain we’d been having disappeared, giving way to bright blue sky and then a clear, mild night. St Catherine’s Hospice had embellished a large marquee with beach themed paraphernalia and two beautifully decorated ‘memory arches’, through which all walkers passed to register for and finish their walk. Head of Business Services Ian Woodland, Marketing Manager Suzanne Clarkson-Lewis and Marketing Coordinator Keely Bicknell were on hand from 6pm to hand out goody bags, talk to the walkers and generally enjoy the building atmosphere.
Marketing Coordinator Keely commented, “There was a real sense of passion and commitment from the walkers, even the 90 brave people who had signed up for the gruelling 20 mile route! The DJ, photo booth and amazing outfits people were sporting created a fantastic ‘party’ atmosphere. Everyone was raring to go!”
After an amazing ‘clubbercise’ warm up on the grass, the 20 mile walkers (and later the 13 and 7 mile walkers) set off in good spirits, well equipped with goody bags and branded torches. Some did not finish their walk until the early hours of the morning.
Employees Debbie Sahota, Shelly Diplock, Heather Martin and Keely Bicknell were joined by Debbie’s daughter Jasmine and Keely’s sister Charis, all first time participants, on their walk. The group had a great time, laughing their way through the 7 mile route, finally arriving back to the marquee at 1am after walking for 2 and a half hours. As a team, the ‘Assurity Consulting Ladies’ raised more than £600, beating their target and leaving them with a great sense of achievement!
Assurity Consulting has always held Corporate Responsibility high on its list of priorities. We support a number of local charities, including The Springboard Project, The Olive Tree and St Catherine’s Hospice, through our involvement in charity golf days, internal fundraisers, gift in kind days and donations.
“As a growing organisation we are delighted to have been able to support such a wonderful cause within our community. The team at St Catherine’s Hospice put a great deal of energy and effort into all of their events to make them as fun and exciting as possible for the fundraisers. We all really enjoyed being part of the Midnight Walk.” Suzanne Clarkson-Lewis, Marketing Manager.
Just two days after the event, the Hospice confirmed that the fundraising stood at £65,000 and rising. Suffice it to say, as a team we feel elated to have been able to have fun while supporting, both financially and tangibly, such an invaluable organisation. You can still donate to the Assurity Consulting Ladies efforts here.