Remembering loved ones as part of Rennie Grove Moonlight Walk event

PUBLISHED: 10:09 26 September 2017 | UPDATED: 10:09 26 September 2017

Rennie Grove Moonlight Walk 2017 - the Fenn family.

Rennie Grove Moonlight Walk 2017 - the Fenn family.

Archant

More than 165 local women - and a handful of men - signed up to stroll through the streets of St Albans in a 10-mile Moonlight Walk for Rennie Grove Hospice Care on Saturday.

Rennie Grove Moonlight Walk 2017 - group set off. Rennie Grove Moonlight Walk 2017 - group set off.

Following an electric warm up from Naomiczumba Dance, walkers departed from Westminster Lodge in to the cover of night. An unseasonable warmth allowed them to display proudly their personalised event t-shirts with the names of loved ones on the back.

Hot drinks and the opportunity to remember and reflect were provided towards the end of the route as walkers were welcomed in to the peaceful gardens at Grove House, gently decorated with fairy lights. The glow led groups down the memorial Path of Life to a gate where walkers wrote messages and secured them in memory padlocks.

The Fenn family from Harpenden; mother Fran, with her daughters Nikki and Jen and son-in-law Dan took some time to pause at Grove House to remember father and husband Richard. Fran, a volunteer at Rennie Grove’s shop in Southdown, Harpenden, spoke openly about her husband’s recent passing.

“He was cared for by Rennie Grove’s nurses at home, which was his choice, and it was so humbling that he was able to have that option. They were just amazing, it was tough but we can’t imagine how much harder it would’ve been without those nurses.”

Rennie Grove Moonlight Walk 2017 - fixing memory locks in place Rennie Grove Moonlight Walk 2017 - fixing memory locks in place

Daughter Nikki spoke about how important the night was for the family, saying: “It would be dad’s 70th birthday this time next week, so we wanted to take this opportunity to honour him, and it’s been a nice way to do it. Tonight has been so well organised.”

Jen said: “We were aware of Rennie Grove through mum’s voluntary work, but being on the receiving end of their services has been a surreal experience, it’s opened our eyes to the fantastic job they do.”

Head of fundraising in Herts, Kate Grigg, said: “Our walkers did brilliantly and created such a buzz. If the fantastic atmosphere is any measure of the event’s success then we’ll definitely reach our fundraising target. If everyone who took part raises £50 in sponsorship, then each person will fund two hours of specialist care in a patient’s home or two health assessments in our Day Hospice and that would be an incredible achievement.”

Kate added that huge thanks were due to the charity’s volunteer marshals who gave up their Saturday night to make sure walkers could find their way safely through the streets. She said: “We’d also like to thank our corporate sponsors Global Infrastructure for sponsoring the t-shirts and Rachel Jeffrey Contemporary Jewellery for sponsoring the flyers and helping make the event so successful.”

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CountryPhile

I had been wondering if she would be there. I had encountered what looked like the remains of her feasting along the path. The telltale circle of piled feathers that indicated a pigeon devoured, plucked breast up, the carcass taken for final pickings by its captor.

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