A Walk to Remember in aid of Thames Hospice Care

Last Saturday saw Guerilla Girl Hayley endure a 5.30am start and walk a half marathon in an effort to raise money for www.thameshospicecare.org.ukNow she has recovered, Hayley talks to us about her reasons for hauling herself out of bed at such an ungodly hour and tells us why next year, she plans to be sitting on a deckchair with a flask of tea during Thames’ Hospice’s amazing “Walk to Remember” event.

Guerilla: Hello Hayley, how are you feeling now?

Hayley: Not too bad thanks, since last years “Walk to Remember” in September I’ve been doing lots of regular walks so this year’s effort wasn’t so tough on the legs.

Guerilla: So tell us about the day, we know you got some great weather which must have made a difference

Hayley: It was a fantastic day. I had to get up at 5.30am but unlike last year’s event, it wasn’t dark at that time in the morning which really helped. I collected my friend Verity, and we headed to the beautiful Beaumont Estate in Windsor to get registered and prepare for the off. Last year we were seen off by Marlene from “Only Fools and Horses” – this year they swapped their celebrity for a balloon bridge that we all got to walk under as we started – it was very exciting. This year’s walk took us through Windsor Great Park and in to Valley Gardens, it was a really nice day and we had some beautiful scenery to look at as we walked.

Guerilla: How many people took part this year?

Hayley: I understand it was around 138 people. Entrants had the choice of a 6.5 mile walk or a 13 mile walk and we decided to do the 13 mile walk.

Proving that anyone can take part - we are joined by little Sophie for 1/2 a mile

Proving that anyone can take part – we are joined by little Sophie for 1/2 a mile

Guerilla: What was the atmosphere like?

Hayley: Really friendly, we are all there for a common cause so everyone is very friendly and you get to chat to lots of different people on the way round which is nice. It’s interesting speaking to people and understanding their reasons for doing the walk, it always surprises me how the Hospice has touched so many different people across all walks of life, the work they do really is invaluable.

Guerilla: Speaking of which, why not remind us, who are Thames Hospice Care and why are you supporting them?

Hayley: Thames Hospice Care is a local charity that offers palliative care for people who are suffering from Cancer. They offer help, advice and support to the families at time when we really do need it most. They supported my family when we were losing my Granddad to cancer and we are so grateful because it absolutely made the difference to me and my family.

Guerilla: You also got involved with promoting the event, how did that come about?

Hayley: I’ve worked with the hospice for a few years now and I’m always happy to help promote and support them in any way I can. They asked if they could use my details for the press and I was happy to oblige. I was in local papers across the region. I was also interviewed  on BBC Radio Berkshire (I’ve got a great face for radio!) at 7.40am by Nicki Whiteman and again just before midday by Henry Kelly so I got to tell them all about the event and my reasons for being involved which was good.

Guerilla: So have you signed up for next years event?

Hayley: I’m giving some serious thought to being a marshal next year. I was looking at them as we went round, in their deck chairs with their flasks of tea and I was thinking – that’s something I can do without any training whatsoever! In reality, I suspect I’ll be signed up again before long.

Guerilla: So did you enjoy your walk?

Hayley: I was feeling poorly on the day and very nearly didn’t go, but then I remembered that what I was feeling was nothing compared to how the people feel who are currently being looked after by the hospice so I went and did the walk anyway. It was tough going just because I felt rough but when I see that I’ve raised almost £600 I realise that it was worth it.

Guerilla: That brings us neatly on to our next question, how much did the event raise in total and can people still sponsor you if they want?

Hayley: On the day Thames Hospice Care reported that they had raised just over £17,000! This is an amazing amount; it will pay for 675 hours of specialist care! My sponsorship page is still live and you can still sponsor me, should you wish to, www.justgiving.com/hayleyandverity. Your donation really will make a difference!

So there you have it, turns out that if it’s for a cause close to her heart, Hayley will not only get out of bed at 5.30am, she will also walk a half marathon when she’s feeling poorly. Impressive stuff.

You can read more about the hospice and the incredible work they are doing in their local community on their website www.thameshospicecare.org.uk 

We are delighted to be presented with certificates at the end of our walk.

We are delighted to be presented with certificates at the end of our walk.