A Staffordshire solicitor who will be taking part in her first-ever St Giles Hospice Solstice Walk next month is calling on people to join her for a magical midsummer evening of fundraising in Lichfield.
Alexa Holgate, together with a team of 20 colleagues from Pickerings Solicitors in Tamworth, will join the hospice’s Enchanted Solstice Walk, which will be making a triumphant return to the city’s streets on Saturday, 18th June, after a two-year absence due to COVID-19.
Alexa, who lives in Lichfield, will be taking part alongside her niece Sophia Farmer, whose grandfather Brian was supported by St Giles in 2021. Brian Farmer, from Four Oaks, who had cancer, received end-of-life care at the hospice last October.
Alexa said: “I’ve never taken part in the Solstice Walk before so I’m really looking forward to it. Many friends and colleagues have taken part in previous years and they tell me that it’s a really fun event to be a part of and say that it has a really good atmosphere.
“As soon as I heard about the Pickerings team taking part I signed up right away as I wanted to thank St Giles for supporting my family by caring for Sophia’s grandad, Brian, last year. Brian’s family visited the hospice every day when he was receiving end-of-life care and they were all so well looked after.
“Brian received exceptional care from the staff at St Giles – you couldn’t fault anything about it. The hospice is such a good cause which supports people when they need help the most and I would encourage anyone to come along and raise funds for this great local charity.”
This year’s Solstice Walk will be taking place with a new ‘Enchanted’ theme, a new location, a new 10k route and an earlier start time of 8pm.
St Giles Hospice Fundraising Events Manager, Zoe Wright, said: “With just three weeks to go we’re counting down the days until the Enchanted Solstice Walk returns, and we’d like to invite as many people as possible to come along and join us for this magical sunset stroll.
“It was heartbreaking to have to cancel the event for the last two years, so now we can’t wait to walk through Lichfield’s beautiful city centre once more. It’s a wonderful way for our fundraisers to celebrate being able to come together again, and the Solstice Walk always offers a special opportunity to remember those loved ones who are no longer with us.”
Zoe added that the Enchanted Solstice Walk was now a more inclusive event than ever, as the previously women-only walk also now welcomes families, friends, men and children to take part.
Zoe added: “Our Solstice Walk has been given a brand new theme for 2022 and we’re planning an unforgettable night of magic, mystery and memories for our woodland fairies, wonderful wizards and their doggy companions, so bring along your magic wands and get creative with your costumes – your imagination is the only limit!
“This year the event will be starting and ending at Lichfield Rugby Club for the first time, where we’ll be offering a host of entertainment and refreshments for everyone taking part and the supporters who turn up to cheer them on.”
The fun will begin with a Welcome Party from 6pm at Lichfield Rugby Club, Cooke Fields, on Tamworth Road. The party will include face painting, stilt walkers, along with live music, food and drinks. During the evening everyone will join together to remember lost loved ones in a Moment of Reflection, releasing bubbles into the sky.
The Enchanted Solstice Walk will start at 8pm, and walkers will be welcomed back across the finish line at the end with a special Solstice Walk medal. The brand new route will take around 90 minutes – or two hours at a gentle stroll – to complete.
“The Enchanted Solstice Walk is a lovely way to spend a summer’s evening and offers you the ideal opportunity to raise sponsorship to support our hospice care,” added Zoe. “And after you’ve finished your walk, our Sunset Celebration will start at 9pm and will continue until late, with live music and a fully licensed bar offering the perfect end to an amazing evening.”
Children are welcome to join the Enchanted Solstice Walk, but under 18s must be accompanied by an adult.
Entry is £16 for adults (16 years and over) and £12 for children (15 years and under). Your entry fee only covers the administration cost of the Solstice Walk, so by asking friends and family for sponsorship, you can help the hospice raise vital funds for local people, and their families, living with a terminal illness.