Helen Finlinson, Service Development Manager-Transitional care and Inclusion at St Elizabeth Hospice, is limbering up for her first Midnight Walk on Saturday 16th May.
“I’ve wanted to do the Midnight Walk since I started working at the Hospice, eight years ago, but being a mum of three small boys has made it impossible up to now. However, now my youngest is three, I can finally join in with this great event!”
Helen, together with six other mums from Rendlesham, is taking every opportunity she can to put in some training for the 13 mile route.
She said: “We have been grabbing any little time we can to set off for a walk: after the school drop off; once we have fed and watered the kids at tea time, squeezing in as many miles as we can before the sun goes down.”
She added: “I have two Labradors who have definitely been benefitting from extra-long walks recently!”
Helen grew up in Suffolk, and returned here to settle with her family after spending ten years away at university and post graduate jobs in London.
“Having worked in palliative care in London and wanting to move back home, the perfect opportunity arose when a new role emerged at St Elizabeth Hospice for a Day Care Manager.”
On a personal level, Helen found further motivation:“My Grandad had recently died of cancer in hospital and I felt very sad he didn’t get hospice care, and felt really inspired to come back to my home county and get involved in developing local services.
I was really excited to join a progressive hospice which at the time (in 2007) was having its first day unit extension and looking to redevelop day services.”
Having been such an integral part of the impressive new building programme at St Elizabeth Hospice, Helen feels very inspired about getting involved and raising funds this year.
“With our new building being complete and St Elizabeth Hospice now entering a phase of trying to increase the support we offer through our Day Unit; funding is crucial to reach more people needing our support.”
Helen and her friends have no specific fundraising target in mind for the Midnight Walk, just as much as possible.
Additionally though, they have decided to do their best to raise further funds through cake sales in the playground in the days leading up to the walk.
The Rendlesham mums are hoping to dress up as pirates for the event. She said:“We take any opportunity to dress up and have fun! We will be raiding the kids’ Dressing-up boxes for accessories for sure!”
For Helen, an added benefit of all her training is the wonderful experiences of seeing her local countryside and discovering new walks which the whole family can enjoy. She recently took great delight in seeing a herd of deer!
But particularly, Helen is keen to emphasise:“It has been a great experience for me too, strengthening friendships in the playground with mums uniting for this great cause.”
You can sign up to join Helen, and hundreds of other Hospice supporters at www.midnightwalkipswich.o.uk or contact our fundraising team on 01473 723600.