SEVENTEEN staff from an Aldridge medical practice are set to take part in a night-time charity walk and ‘shine a light’ in memory of their former colleague.

The team of ladies from Portland Medical Practice have signed up to the annual ‘Starlight Walk’ around Aldridge on Saturday, September 9th to raise vital funds for St Giles Hospice.

For the first time participants will get the chance to dedicate a lantern to their loved ones as part of a poignant new ‘shine a light’ tribute on the night. Treasured photographs will also be displayed on screen in a ‘cherished forever’ video as well as on a memory wall.

The nurses will be taking part in honour of former nurse Claire Higgs, a 56-year-old mum of two from Stonnall who was cared for at St Giles just before she died of stomach cancer in March.

Friend and nurse colleague Kate Mason, who worked with Claire at the Anchor Meadow practice for 15 years, said: “Claire was an extremely dedicated, hard-working and caring nurse who is very much missed. She used to refer to us as her work family and that’s just what we were.

“She received excellent care at St Giles Hospice so we’ve decided to raise funds for them in her memory by taking part in the Starlight Walk. We have application forms in the surgery so if anyone would like to join us on the walk we’d be delighted to have them on board.”

Organisers of the walk hope to raise £30,000 for St Giles Hospice which provides individually tailored care for people living with diseases that may not be curable.

St Giles spends more than £9 million providing specialist services free of charge to more than 7,000 people each year. With little more than a third of this funded by the Government, the charity relies heavily on volunteers and donations from the community.

Sharon White, fundraising manager for St Giles Walsall Hospice, said: “It’s lovely to see so many of Claire’s friends and colleagues team up for the Starlight Walk and we hope their story will inspire others to take part.”

The balloon release, which has formed part of the walk in previous years, will now be replaced with the ‘Shine the Light’ tribute.

“This will be one of the most poignant moments of the night and will be a time of reflection for those walking in memory of a loved one,” added Sharon.

“The walk is a great excuse to dress up for a fun night out but it’s also a fantastic way to remember loved ones while supporting the vital work St Giles does in the local community.”

Walkers will set off from Aldridge Community Centre at 7.30pm and have a choice of completing a 3.75-mile or 7.5-mile route.

To find out more or sign up visit: