Local woman Nikki Kelly is urging people to join her as she takes part in Moonlight Colour Walk on 8 June to help raise funds for Willowbrook Hospice.
For Nikki, 38 from Haydock , Willowbrook has a special place in her heart as it was there that her father Derek Jones, was cared for before he passed away in March last year aged 70.
Nikki says “Dad had been suffering from lung cancer and initially attended the day service at Willowbrook on Tuesdays which he absolutely loved.“
Unfortunately, in February 2018, Derek developed fluid on his lung and had to go into Whiston Hospital and although they managed to drain his lung, he began to deteriorate rapidly and was transferred to Willowbrook.
Nikki continues: “Even though dad was only at the hospice for a week before he died, and my family and I can never thank everyone enough for the care they gave to him. The staff showed such compassion and care and really considered his wishes and dignity throughout his short time there. They even allowed me to take my dog Oscar in to visit my dad. Everyone treated Oscar like a celebrity – especially the chef who would feed him lasagne!
“After dad passed away, it was really important for me to give something back to Willowbrook so I decided to sign up for last year’s Moonlight Colour Walk to help raise money so that the hospice can continue to support people like my dad and my family.
“It was a fantastic evening and I felt a real sense of closeness to Dad as me and Oscar put our ‘best foot forward’ alongside many of my friends and family. I know Dad would have been really proud and I wish I could show him the photos and tell him that we managed to raise over £930! “
This year, Nikki will be joined on the walk by her niece Heather whose own mum sadly passed away at the hospice this year.
Nikki added: “Willowbrook will always be a magical place but unfortunately you don’t know if or when you will need its help. That’s why I’m asking everyone in St Helens and Knowsley to join me and register for the Moonlight Colour Walk.”
Melissa Kenny, fundraiser for Willowbrook Hospice said: ”Our Moonlight Colour walk is fast approaching and we need everyone to get behind Willowbrook. It’s a great event and if you’ve thought about taking part before but have never got round to it, now is your chance!
“We ask everyone to try to raise as much money as they can. Every penny counts, so please help your local hospice to make a real difference to local people.”
The entry fees for the Moonlight Colour Walk are £15 for adults and £5 for children under 16 (dogs go free!). You can register by ringing 01744 453798,calling into The Living Well on Borough Road, St Helens or visit www.willowbrook.org.uk (under events).