Hundreds of walkers have put their best foot forward to raise more than £30,000 for Hope House and Tŷ Gobaith Children’s Hospices.
The Take A Hike event saw supporters from across North Wales, Shropshire, Powys, Cheshire and beyond pull on their walking boots and take on a 10-mile walk on March 27 and 28.
From Llandudno to Ludlow, Anglesey to Oswestry and Chester to Welshpool, walkers braved some tricky weather conditions to raise an amazing amount to help support local seriously ill children and their families.
Cat Dowdeswell, fundraiser, said: “We were totally overwhelmed by the support for the Take A Hike event, and to raise almost £30,000 has absolutely blown us away.
“The last 12 months have been extremely challenging, and the support for our virtual events has been absolutely essential to making sure we can continue to be here for those who really need us.”
Take A Hike replaced the annual Llangollen Canal Walk which had to be cancelled due to Covid-19 restrictions.
“Even though our mass participation events have been cancelled, our supporters haven’t wavered one bit and have come out in their droves to raise money for us, and for that we are so grateful,” said Cat.
Young Alfie Rixon, from Wem, Shropshire, was diagnosed with an aggressive bone cancer in 2018 and had to have had his lower left leg amputated. Having been free of cancer for over a year Alfie, 14, spent lockdown learning to walk again with his prosthetic leg and has set himself a challenge by signing up for the 10-mile walk for Hope House which he completed, raising some £4,000.
Dan Rixon, Alfie’s dad, said: “Something like this was unimaginable for us a year ago, and it was important for us to give something back to an organisation that has given us such wonderful support through a difficult time.”
Meanwhile 14-year-old Elodie-Mae Davies, from Wrexham, is still on track to complete her 10 miles by the end of April.
Elodie has had heart defects since birth which have led to a cardiac arrest, clots in her lungs and mini strokes. She has been through 10 open heart surgeries, has a pacemaker fitted, and needs 24-hour oxygen.
The doctors recently discovered she has pulmonary vein stenosis, and as a result Elodie has lost her left lung and only has 83 per cent functionality of her right one.
Elodie had planned to complete her 10-miles by the end of March but had to take a break for an operation.
She sent all walkers a good luck message on the day and her family are over the moon that the event has raised so much.
Helen Jones, a volunteer at the Wrexham Friends Group would ordinarily be marshalling the Llangollen Canal Walk, but after reading some of the inspirational stories of those taking park decided to take on the 10 miles herself and completed her distance on March 28.
Take A Hike was sponsored by Net World Sports and Petplace.
Frankie Williams, Influencer & Partnerships Marketing Executive at Net World Sports in Wrexham, said: “We are always so delighted to support our chosen charity Hope House Children’s Hospices and help with fundraising wherever we can.
“Over the past years we have built a strong relationship with Hope House and Tŷ Gobaith and are so proud to be involved with such an incredible organisation.”
If you would still like to support Hope House and Tŷ Gobaith Children’s Hospices this Easter weekend, then there are still some medals available for adults, children and of course dogs, so visit hopehouse.org.uk/hike and walk to support children and families in your local area.