The Manchester Midnight Walk will have a virtual twist this year, as organisers respond to the pandemic restrictions and adapt the event to ensure their biggest fundraiser of the year can continue.
The city is normally buzzing with excitement each year as more than a thousand participants take to the streets for the sponsored 10km walk in aid of St Ann’s Hospice patients.
This year’s event was set to be bigger and better than ever before to mark the hospice’s 50th anniversary on May 17th, but when lockdown and Covid-19 restrictions led to the cancellation of the physical event, organisers had to think creatively about how supporters can still raise funds
Rachel McMillan, St Ann’s chief executive, said: “It’s really disappointing that we can’t hold the Manchester Midnight Walk in the usual way this year – it’s been running for fourteen years, and walkers have raised a staggering £2m for the hospice in that time.
“But, the safety of our supporters is the most important thing to us, and our team have come up with a way that people from across the city can still join in and take part in our birthday edition of the walk, just with a virtual twist this year.”
People are being invited to sign up and take on the challenge to walk 10km over the hospice’s 50th birthday weekend from May 14th to 17th .
Participants can choose to walk 10km in one go, or to split it into smaller chunks, and can decide to complete the distance whenever and wherever they wish.
Rachel added: “As a charity, our doctors, nurses, other healthcare and support staff have only been able to continue caring for patients on the front line throughout this pandemic, thanks to the generous support of the community, so we’re hugely grateful to anyone who is able to join us and take part this year.
“So many of our events and activities have had to be cancelled in recent months, and it would mean so much if people could pledge to get outside, have some exercise, and raise a bit of money for our patients at the same time.
“We even have people taking part who will do the distance with laps of their garden.
“It’s a really challenging time for all of us, but hopefully people will embrace the Manchester Virtual Walk and join us, whilst staying safe and keeping within government rules and guidelines.
“Thank you in advance to anyone who does sign up to take part. I can’t thank you enough, and it really will make a huge difference during an extremely difficult time.”
Participants will receive a free fundraising pack and yellow T-shirt to don during their walk, and will also be sent an exclusive medal on completion.
Sign-ups can be made on the website www.mmwalk.org.uk or by calling 0161 498 3631.