This June, the much-loved Midnight Memory Walk organised by Rotherham Hospice is back following a seven-year hiatus with a Millers legend leading the way once again.
When Rotherham United’s John Breckin was made a hospice ambassador last September, one of his first missions was to resurrect the annual midnight walk he originally launched 15 years ago.
John lost his wife Denise to cancer and his family benefitted from the exceptional care provided by the Rotherham Hospice team. To say thank you and raise some cash for the hospice, he organised the first midnight memory walk in 2008.
That inaugural event also marked the final chapter of John’s beloved Millmoor Stadium where he’d spent years as both a player and coach; once the walkers had set off, the gates closed for good.
Over 1,000 people took part in the first midnight memory walk, raising £97,000 for the hospice. The annual event ran for many years before it was replaced with the Glow with the Flow moonlit walk that was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic.
John is hopeful the public will go the extra mile for the return of the Midnight Memory Walk which this year is starting from Rotherham United’s new home, New York Stadium. He would love to see a thousand people take part like they did back in 2008.
“Rotherham Hospice is a fabulous place that belongs to Rotherham people. It’s something we should be proud of as its one of the things the town has got right. Unfortunately, most people in Rotherham will need to use one of the many services at the hospice at some time in their life.
“But the midnight memory walk is to remember anyone you have lost, not just those who received end-of-life care at Rotherham Hospice,” John says.
Rotherham Hospice has provided palliative care to the people of Rotherham for almost 30 years. The hospice has a 14-bed inpatient unit where patients with terminal illnesses receive expert care and attention. They also have a day hospice service for patients to visit once a week, as well as a community team who support patients in their own homes.
But Rotherham Hospice also supports patients’ families along the way, with services like respite care, counselling sessions, and the Sunbeams support group to help children through bereavement.
The hospice provides all their services free of charge. But it needs £6million a year to operate, half of which they must fundraise for, which is a big task.
John says: “The hospice was there for my family when we needed them. Now’s our chance to come together, remember our loved ones, and be there for the hospice!”
The Midnight Memory Walk will take place on Saturday 24th June starting at New York Stadium with a big firework display just before midnight. There will be two routes – 10k or 15k – which are yet to be confirmed but will make stops at Clifton Park, the hospice on Broom Road, Stag, Whiston, and Moorgate before heading back to the NYS.
Entry is £5 per person and you’ll get a sponsorship form to help you set a fundraising goal. T-shirts are also available to purchase for £7.50. Enter online here.