Join the How Wood Nutters for Moonlight Walk

Nikki Oliver and her mum.

Nikki Oliver and her mum. - Credit: Archant

A group of work colleagues from a local primary school have teamed up to take part in the Rennie Grove Hospice Care’s Moonlight Walk in September.

Rennie Grove Midnight Walk.

Rennie Grove Midnight Walk. - Credit: Archant

Calling themselves the ‘How Wood Nutters’, the workmates from How Wood Primary School in Park Street say taking part is a “win-win opportunity”, inspired by their desire to help others and to get fit and healthy.

They are made up of Nikki Oliver, Julie Wright, Emma Reed, headteacher Cynthia Rowe, Jo Stewart, Jackie Nixon and Claire Hardcastle.

The 10-mile walk round the streets of St Albans takes place on Saturday September 23, starting and finishing at Westminster Lodge on Holywell Hill. The route will go through the grounds of Grove House next to St Albans City Hospital, where participants will be able to attach a padlock to a memory fence as a symbol of remembrance. Hot chocolate will also be available to help walkers on their way to the finishing line by midnight.

“We have all been affected by loss at some point and so needed to do something positive, and not be consumed by sadness,” said How Wood walker Nikki Oliver, who lost her mum to cancer five years ago.

Rennie Grove Midnight Walk.

Rennie Grove Midnight Walk. - Credit: Archant

She said: ““My mum was such an inspiration and I was always so proud of the way she powered on despite everything and never complained.

“We are also trying to get fit and healthy as our jobs and families completely exhaust us, so it seemed like a win-win opportunity.”

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“I have not had the courage to take part in one of these events before because of the emotional investment it takes, but have been persuaded this year to ‘get a grip’ and get on with it. So here we are!

“Training is a bit sporadic as the summer term is a marathon in itself in school, but we will ramp it up over the summer holidays,” hoped Nikki, adding: “A few of us have dogs, which keep us on the move anyway.”

The Moonlight Walk is open to anyone of any age, although participants under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. The warm-up fun starts at 7.30pm and the walk gets under way at 8pm.

The entry fee of £15 covers the expense of organising the event, and includes a T-shirt.

“There is no minimum sponsorship, but it would be great if everyone that participates could try to raise at least £50 each,” said Kate Grigg, Rennie Grove’s head of fundraising in Herts.

“That could fund two hours of specialist nursing care in a patient’s home; ensuring that families feel supported and patients’ symptoms are kept under control,” added Kate.

Walkers last year raised four times the target set by organisers, their generous sponsorship funding nearly 1,000 hours of specialist nursing care. “Our walkers did brilliantly and created such a buzz,” said Kate, “it would be amazing to recreate that fantastic atmosphere and outcome again this year.”

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