Fundraisers are being invited to enjoy a magical evening this June as St Giles Hospice’s much-loved Solstice Walk returns with a brand new ‘enchanted’ theme.

With the event having been cancelled for the last two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Enchanted Solstice Walk is back in the streets of Lichfield on Saturday, 18th June – with a new location, a new 10k route and an earlier start time of 8pm.

The previously women-only event also now welcomes families, friends, men and children to celebrate together.

Fundraisers get in the magical spirit for the Enchanted Solstice Walk

Chloe Herbert, Head of Fundraising at St Giles Hospice, said: “From woodland fairies to wonderful wizards, our Solstice Walk has been given a brand new theme for 2022. The event is open to everyone and an unforgettable night of magic, mystery and memories is guaranteed!

“We’re absolutely thrilled to be back with our Enchanted Solstice Walk so please join us for a magical fundraising stroll around Lichfield at sunset, starting and ending for the first time at Lichfield Rugby Club, where we’ll be offering a host of entertainment and refreshments.”

One person looking forward to this year’s Enchanted Solstice Walk is dental nurse Beverley England, aged 41, who lives with her partner and daughter in Chase Terrace.

Beverley first encountered St Giles when staff cared for her mum, June England, who received end of life care at the hospice in Whittington for a week before she died of cancer on her 63rd birthday in June 2016.

Beverley has since taken part in three Solstice Walks and in 2021 took part in Solstice Walk Your Way, a virtual version of the event, in her local community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

She said: “I think the Solstice Walk is brilliant and I can’t wait to see it back again – it’s so well organised and it has a lovely atmosphere. It’s an especially emotional time of year for us as my mum died on June 19th, which is always close to when the Solstice Walk takes place.

“The day mum passed away was her birthday and she had a lot of visitors. Everyone who came to visit was allowed in to see her. The staff all knew it was mum’s birthday and sang “Happy Birthday” to her. They were so caring – even though she was so ill they thought she would be able to hear them so they wanted to sing it to her.

“My mum had absolutely fantastic care at St Giles and I would encourage everyone to support the hospice. We want to make sure that St Giles will still be there for other families, like ours, when they need it.”

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.

Chloe added: “We’re very excited to unveil our brand new route. The walk will take around 90 minutes or two hours at a gentle stroll – offering you the ideal opportunity to raise sponsorship to support our hospice care.

“After you’ve finished the Solstice Walk, our Sunset Celebration will start at 9pm and will continue until late. With live music and a fully licensed bar, it’ll be 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.

For more information or to sign up to this year’s St Giles Hospice Solstice Walk visit www.stgileshospice.com/solsticewalk

From set up to set down this event wouldn’t be possible without the help of volunteers. If anybody would like to help out at the event they can contact volunteer@stgileshospice.com