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14 Feb 2020 Community

Joanne prepares to lace up for her fourth Midnight Memory Walk

On Saturday 20th June this year, Joanne Garbutt and her family will be lacing up for Kirkwood’s Midnight Memory Walk for the fourth time to remember her Mum, Susan Gibson, who was cared for on Kirkwood’s In-Patient Unit in January 2017.

69-year-old Susan Gibson spent 10 days being cared for by Kirkwood’s In-Patient Unit team back in 2017. She sadly died on the 25th January that year.

Following the outstanding care Joanne and her family say they received, they were determined to give back to Kirkwood in any way they could.

Susan was a popular lady and well-loved within her local community of Meltham. 

“My mum was such an inspirational lady whom we all looked up to. She was the kindest, most caring, fairest and most loveable woman you could ever meet.” said Joanne.

Three of Joanne's favourite photos of her Mum, Susan Gibson.


During her mum’s stay at Kirkwood, Joanne saw a leaflet for the Midnight Memory Walk that was due to take place in June.

After speaking to her daughter, Zoe, about the event, they both decided to sign up that same evening.

“Shortly after registering, we were contacted by the Fundraising Team who told us that we were the first people to sign up; we were walkers number one and two!”

Joanne was overwhelmed with the care her Mum received and was so pleased to be taking part in one of Kirkwood’s biggest events of the year to remember her special Mum.

“The care my mum received during her time at Kirkwood was outstanding. Everyone was so welcoming and nothing was too much trouble.

“If my mum had been at home it wouldn’t have been the same. During her final days at Kirkwood, we were able to spend quality time together as a family. We never left her side.

“I cannot put into words what a lovely peaceful place Kirkwood is. Even if tinged with sadness, the care and support is amazing from the moment you step through their doors, to the moment you leave, and the support doesn’t end there.”

Joanne and her daughter, Zoe, were honoured to be asked to launch Kirkwood’s Midnight Memory Walk by releasing the confetti cannons to set off hundreds of walkers.

“I couldn’t believe it when we were asked. It was such a lovely way to pay tribute to my mum.”

This year, for the fourth time, Joanne will be taking on the 10 mile route along with her friend Sarah, family, and not forgetting her Labrador, Charlie, who will be collecting his fourth doggy medal!

Charlie the dog ready to start his 10 mile walk with his family.

 Joanne and her family ready to set off!


Talking about what she enjoys most about taking part in the event, Joanne said: “The atmosphere is fantastic. Everyone is there together for a reason, whether you are remembering someone, or supporting someone you know.

“I’ve kept all of my T-shirts and medals. Every year I personalise the back of my T-shirt with the same message for my mum.”

If you’d like to join Joanne and her family at this year’s Midnight Memory Walk, registration is now open. To take advantage of our early bird offer, sign up today by clicking here.

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