Walking on sunshine!
22 September 2015
Bunny ears, tutus and even the old superhuman character or two – it was all part of the annual fun event that is the Walk for Wards to raise money for wards and departments at Southend University Hospital.
Cloudless skies and soaring late-summer temperatures ensured a
record turn-out for the event, with more than 130 walkers, plus the
odd dog, stepping out.
Sponsored by Radio Essex and Adventure Island, it offered
participants two options - the 7km seafront stroll or an 18k
Hadleigh Hike. View images from the event on the Southend Hospital
Facebook page here.
The stroll, starting at Uncle Tom's Cabin, Shoebury, follows the
seafront to Chalkwell shelter, while the more challenging hike
continues through old Leigh, around Hadleigh Castle, returning to
Onlookers could be forgiven for doing at least a double take
when triplets Oliver, Isabelle and Lewis Stanley marched by.
Despite being only five, the trio from Rayleigh managed the whole
course - with only the occasional piggyback from mum Jo! The family
did the walk to say thank you for the care given to the youngsters
following their birth.
Kim Dawson, from Westcliff, pictured with son Jack, two, was
also walking for the hospital's Special Care baby Unit. "He was
born eight weeks early and the unit was fantastic," she says.
This sentiment was echoed by the Brown family, who were also
walking for the neonatal unit. Reece Jones, 13, was born eight
weeks early, as was his step-sister Jasmine, now 15. "We
wanted to help," says Reece's dad Colin Wild-Jones.
The Oram family from Southend were out in force to support the
'wonderful care' they received from Elizabeth Loury cancer ward for
dad Jerry, 67. Despite being in remission from the disease, he
managed to walk the whole 7km with the help of daughters Victoria,
35 and Sarah, 34, along with Shearon (sic) Ashley, a family
Meanwhile, there was no shortage of walkers prepared to dress up
in fancy dress.
Colleagues Lisa Cockley, a manager at the Hood Group in
Southend, her son Sam, six and her colleagues Adrian Lawrence
(Spiderman) and Dan Jacks (Batman), all donned superhero costumes
before stepping out.
The group has already raised more than £300 for the Neptune Unit
to say thank you for the care nurses there gave to the son of
"We really enjoyed the day - it was brilliant and everyone was
really happy to cheer us on," says Spiderman Adrian, 21. "I was
going to go on and do the Hadleigh Hike, but the costume was too
hot for that."
"A big thank you to everyone who took part in our sponsored walk
on Sunday," said Lucy Thomas-Clayton, associate director of
"We had a fabulous turn out with over 130 people walking in
support of wards at the hospital. We are confident the event
will raise even more than last year."
Walkers can name which hospital ward or department to support
with their sponsorship - every penny will go to their chosen cause
and all funds will be very gratefully received.
Last year's walk raised just over £8,000 and supported 31
different areas of the hospital.