The Jellybabes, who organised a marathon walk to remember their friend Suzanne and raise funds for Bedfordshire's Sue Ryder St John's Hospice, who cared for her. Image Sue Ryder St John's Hospice

Walking in honour of a loved ones to raise money for Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice

People across Bedfordshire are putting their best foot forward this October and walking in honour of their loved ones to raise money for a local hospice. Walk to Remember 2020 will see people walk a route that means something to them to remember the life of someone special.

It’s being organised by Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice in Moggerhanger near Bedford. The Hospice cares for people with life-limiting conditions as well as supporting their families.

It had to postpone its annual night-time walk Starlight Hike due to Coronavirus. But is hoping local people will don their walking boots and Walk to Remember at a time and location that suits them. Ellie Burke, community fundraiser at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice, said:

“Our new event for 2020 – Walk to Remember – gives people the chance to celebrate the life of someone special and walk in their memory.

“You can choose a 5K or 10K distance and a route that means something to you. It could be somewhere you enjoyed walking with your loved one, or a route which has a special meaning.

“You can walk any day throughout October or join hundreds of others across the country for our official walk day on Saturday, 17th October.

“You can encourage your friends, families and colleagues to join you. Even if you can’t walk together physically, you can start at the same time and share your photos and special moments with one another.

“Entry is free, but it’s your donations and fundraising that will make all the difference to patients and families needing our expert care. Sign up today at sueryder.org/walktoremember.”

Jellybabes raised over £4,500 following a 26.2 mile walk in memory of their friend

A Walk to Remember is what friends Carrie Irvin, Sharon Kane and Tracey Slevin did in tribute to their best friend Suzanne Sharp-Bayliss, who was cared for at Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice in 2016. In 2018, the trio did a 26.2 mile walk in her memory and raised more than £4,500 for the hospice.

Now, the group of friends, who call themselves ‘The Jellybabes’ due to their love of jellybabies while out walking, are hoping that others will follow in their footsteps. Carrie said:

“Our walk was really special and along the route we felt really close to Suzanne. We planned the route carefully to take in places we had been with her, starting from the baby clinic where we all met in Sandy.

“We finished at the pub in Carlton where Suzanne’s wedding reception was held and where her funeral wake was held.

“We also visited the boat at Star Rowing Club in Bedford which was named after her.

“We chose to walk a marathon length because Suzanne had been involved in the first marathon the Jellybabes did and supported us in the marathons we sadly did without her.

“We did the walk to remember Suzanne and to raise funds for Sue Ryder St John’s Hospice who looked after her so well.”

Contact the hospice’s fundraising team on 01767 642 412 or stjohnsfundraising@sueryder.org for more information about the Walk to Remember 2020.