Hospiscare's Men's Walk set to return in 2020

PUBLISHED: 17:00 07 January 2020

A team taking part in Men�s Walk 2019. Picture: Colin Yelland

A team taking part in Men�s Walk 2019. Picture: Colin Yelland

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Hospiscare is hoping to make this year's Men's Walk the most successful in it nine-year history.

Hospiscare's Men's Walk. Picture: ContributedHospiscare's Men's Walk. Picture: Contributed

The charity is hoping to improve on last year's event, when, on a rainy and blustery day in March, more than 960 men walked in aid of the charity, making it the most successful Men's Walk to date.

Back for its ninth year, Hospiscare are aiming to attract more than 1,000 walkers, calling on all lovers of rugby to join Men's Walk 2020, with the hope being that it will benefit from a spell of winter sunshine.

The popular Exeter event, which is taking place on Saturday, March 14, promises to be the busiest yet, with the opportunity to watch all three of the final Six Nations matches on large LED screens in heated marquees.

Wales will be taking on Scotland at Principality Stadium, Cardiff, before Italy host England at the Stadio Olimpico, in Rome.

Hospiscare Men's Walk is back for 2020Hospiscare Men's Walk is back for 2020

The days rugby will be rounded off when France play Ireland at the Stade de France, in Paris.

As before, the eight-mile route of the Men's Walk will start at the Double Locks canal-side pub and follow the picturesque riverside Exe Valley Way as far as Miller's Crossing Bridge, where it will cross the river and then return to the Double Locks, via Mill on the Exe.

And there will be plenty of entertainment and refreshment stops along the way.

At the Men's Walk 2019, which ended up raising £71,000, the weather conditions were challenging but spirits were high as the walkers set off from the Double Locks.

Along the route they were buoyed by a team of dedicated volunteers offering support and encouragement.

Live entertainment and free pizza was provided at The Waterfront, before returning to the Double Locks for a pasty and a pint, to watch the 'game of two halves' where England drew with Scotland in the Six Nations rugby tournament.

Speaking straight afterwards, organiser Sharon Ewart said: "This event just continues to grow and we're thrilled that so soon after the event we have already exceeded last year's record total of £62,000 raised!

"With sponsorship money still being collected, it is looking likely that the Men's Walk will hit £70,000, making it equal to or even bigger than the women's Twilight Walk.

"Not only for awareness, these mass participation events are a huge boost for Hospiscare, enabling the charity to carry on giving our patients the personalised care they need and deserve - we are so grateful to all our walkers and of course our hardy volunteers for their efforts."

Registration for Hospiscare's Men's Walk 2020 is now open and with the event a proven sell-out success, it would be wise to register early to guarantee a place.

The walk is once again kindly sponsored by Wilkinson Grant, with pints supplied by Exeter Brewery and pasties provided by Chunk and Clive's Pies.

Individual entry is £25 while a team of four is £80. All walkers (who must be aged 12 years or over) receive a Men's Walk 2020 T-shirt, a pint (or soft drink) and a hot pasty.

If you are interested, sign up online at www.hospiscare.co.uk/events/flagship/men-s-walk or email fundraising@hospiscare.co.uk for more information.

Hospiscare is a charity that cares for terminally ill adults and their families in Exeter, Mid and East Devon. With less than 20 per cent of the charity's funding coming from the NHS, Hospiscare relies upon donations from the public to provide end of life care to the local community.

Hospiscare has three hospices in Devon; Searle House, in Exeter, which has a twelve-bed ward, Kings House, in Honiton, and Pine Lodge, in Tiverton, and also provides care in the community with Hospiscare@Home in Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton, and Seaton and Axminster.

The charity is also dedicated to providing supportive care for the friends and family of the patients, both in the lead up to their loved one's death and after their death through the charity's supportive bereavement services.

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