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27 Jun 2018 Community

“Giving back” at Midnight Memory Walk

As the dust is only just settling after Kirkwood’s biggest fundraising event of the year, we look back to some highlights and stories from the night

In the early hours of Sunday morning, 1,265 loyal supporters came together to walk through the night in memory of loved ones, and raise a staggering £117,000 towards patient care.


Here are their stories…

Joanne Gibson-Garbutt took part with her family to remember her Mum, who died at Kirkwood Hospice back in January 2017.

Joanne said: “My family will be walking again this year in memory of my Mum who died on the 25th January 2017 in the Hospice. We will be walking to support Kirkwood for the outstanding care they gave to my Mum. They touched our hearts on a level beyond words. You are amazing.”


Sarah Martin, Helen Lear, Paul Martin and Phil Lear were also walking in memory of someone special.

Helen said: "Sarah and I lost our Dad, Peter Kennedy, in November last year.  He spent three weeks at Kirkwood and we're walking tonight in his memory.

“He was such a keen a walker and we wanted to give something back because Kirkwood did so much for my Dad at the end of his life."

Paul Berry was walking the six mile route with his son, Harvey, to remember his Dad, Roger Berry, as well his much loved Grandma and best friend.

Keen supporter and Kirkwood Hospice fundraiser, Michael Haigh, was tackling the ten mile route with a group of 11 friends and family all in loving memory of Michael’s wife, Brenda.

Michael is also taking on The Great North Run, as well a hair-raising Wingwalk, which is all going towards a Tribute Fund in Brenda’s name.

Rebecca Rushton was taking part for her second year with son, Joseph, and friend Jo Hives, along with Jo’s daughter Charlotte. It was an extra special walk for Joseph, who celebrated his 13th Birthday as the clock struck Midnight.

Rebecca said: “I am walking tonight in memory of Kae Mahoney. I went to school with Kae and we were friends for a long time. We're walking in memory of all those loved and lost."

The back of Rebecca’s T-shirt read: “Your illness does not define you. Your strength and courage does. (And it did!)”

Friends Georgia Martin and Fiona Jowett were walking for their first year.

"We've been wanting to take part in the Midnight Memory Walk for a couple of years in memory of my Grandad, Gran and Uncle. When it came up again this year, we thought this is the year.

“We're from Dalton so Kirkwood is a local cause who we know do a great job."

Cousins Sophie Tinsdale and Holly Cairns from Huddersfield were also taking part for their first year, along with their dog, Archie.

Another fellow doggy walker was internet famous sausage dog, Frankie, who was walking the ten mile route with his Mum, Judy, to mark the amazing work his auntie, Anna-Marie, does as a nurse on Kirkwood’s In-Patient Unit.

Judy said: “Frankie has his own Facebook and Instagram pages and even a JustGiving page for the walk. We've received messages of good luck and donations from all over the world. We're here to support Anna because she does an amazing job, everybody loves her and we're all so proud of her."

Frankie’s JustGiving page, which has raised £417 towards the Midnight Memory Walk, reads: “Aunty Anna loves her job. She cares for not only the patients in her care, but also their closest loved ones. Aunty Anna is a nurse who laughs and cries every day. She does a job that most of us could not even imagine doing. 

“I want to walk ten miles to help the amazing nurses at Kirkwood continue to do what they do best. They give love and laughter to life.”

Elaine Dory Higgins wanted to “give back” after Kirkwood cared for her Dad at the end of his life

Elaine said: “Me and my Sister-in-Law are doing the walk in memory of my dad. The day my Sister-in-Law married my brother, Kirkwood allowed them to come into the Hospice, and have a blessing there so Dad was involved too. My youngest daughter was only three weeks old so she got to see her Grandad before he passed away.

“The Hospice were fantastic and this is our way of giving something back for all they did for us.”

Richard Ellin was also supporting the Hospice to give something back after Kirkwood cared for his Mum last September.

He said: “Kirkwood created priceless memories which live on each day.”

Jennifer Hawksby was taking part in memory of her Mum and Dad. Although her parents didn’t receive their care from Kirkwood, the Hospice movement is an important one in Jennifer’s heart and she is now working as an advanced Nurse Practitioner with a special interest in End of Life care and supporting carers.

She said: “My father died from Lung Cancer aged just 38 years old when I was just ten. My Mum then died from Breast Cancer just six years later, aged 36, when I was sixteen.

“Although it was not Kirkwood Hospice who looked after my Mum in her last days, I cannot support you enough as the aftercare we received was second to none.

“I am walking with my amazing husband and best friends in their memory, as I fully understand the great emotional work you do.”

To register your interest for the 2019 Midnight Memory Walk, please click here.

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