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By Haddenham Webteam - 8th January 2018 2:00pm
In 2018, Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity's annual Midnight Walk will change in two important ways.
"We asked the public whether they would like the event to be opened out to men and boys as well as women and girls," explains Jo Turner, Head of Fundraising at Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity (FNHC). "We ran a survey in November and December last year, and 80% of the respondents said they would like men to be allowed to take part."
While the majority of respondents were in favour of men joining the Walk, some fear that it will change the unique atmosphere of the event. "It's nice to celebrate with girlfriends in a relaxed atmosphere. I feel that may change and become more competitive," said one respondent.
However, many comments also pointed out that men wish to support the Hospice as well. "Men also lose loved ones to cancer or suffer from cancer just the same as ladies," one lady wrote, while another said, "Why not, the more the merrier, it's raising money for a brilliant cause. Males look good in pink and flashing lights."
Responding to the results, the FNHC Events team decided that the 2018 Midnight Walk should be open to everyone over the age of 11 on the 23rd June.
The Charity also asked survey respondents if they would prefer to keep the distance options the same, or change them to a 5 mile route and a 10 mile route.
"54% of respondents to our research said they would prefer a choice of five miles or ten miles, and so we have decided to trial these distances," says Jo. "This means that the routes will change significantly, and although we are still at the planning stages, it seems likely that the ten mile route will go via Weston Turville and Aston Clinton, while the five mile route will split off the Wendover Road and go down Bedgrove, returning via the A41."
The new look Midnight Walk will take place on 23 June 2018, starting and finishing at Aylesbury College as usual.
The Midnight Walk is FNHC's largest fundraising event and last year raised over £55,000 with 475 Walkers dressed in the event's iconic dayglo pink T-shirts and flashing bunny ears. "One thing that won't be changing is the Midnight Walk "uniform"," says Jo Turner. "The flashing ears are spectacular, and the T-shirts in 'Safety Pink' help to keep Walkers visible as well as being traditional!"
The money raised by Midnight Walkers makes a huge contribution to enable Florence Nightingale Hospice Charity to continue to provide services to patients with life-limiting illnesses at the Hospice and at home, and this year the Charity hopes the changes to the event will increase the number of Walkers and the amount raised for the Hospice.
Anyone registering before 31st January can take advantage of the Early Bird Offer at just £17 (after 1st February it's £20). Walkers receive a free souvenir Midnight Walk 2018 T-shirt, as well as a medal and complimentary breakfast at the end of the Walk.
For more information and to sign up, please visit the website.