“Our 50th anniversary year has been something we’ve been planning for a long time.
“As one of the oldest hospices in the UK, we’re so proud to have reached this milestone, and feedback from our supporters and the patients and families we care for is that they’d love to see us celebrate in style throughout 2021.
“When we started to put plans in place for this landmark year in our history, little did we know how different the world would be.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly challenged all of us at the hospice in lots of ways. But, despite those challenges, it has also meant we’ve been able to come together to quickly evolve services, collaborate with others locally, and join forces with individuals and groups in our local community to make sure we could continue to care for those who needed us.
“Fundraising has been challenging of course, with many events and activities cancelled. So many people have kindly signed up to take part in one of our special 50th birthday activities and we couldn’t be more grateful for the support of everyone who has helped us through this really difficult period.
“As part of our 50th anniversary, we’d been planning to hold a special birthday Manchester Midnight Walk. As many of you will know, the Midnight Walk has been our flagship event for more than a decade, with participants raising more than £2million for our patients over the years.
“But, due to restrictions, we’ve had to make the difficult decision that we won’t be able to hold the event in its usual form – but the good news is, we’ve adapted it to mean people from across Greater Manchester can still join in, taking part safely in whatever way works best for them.
“For this year’s Manchester Virtual Walk, we’re challenging participants to complete a 10km sponsored walk whenever, however and wherever they like. The distance can be completed all in one go, or can be split over multiple days, and people can walk, skip, run or hop – whatever they’d like to do! We’re encouraging people to take part over our birthday weekend from 14th to 17th May, but if that doesn’t work for you, you can simply choose a different date and get walking.
“We’ve given the event a 70s theme this year, nodding to 1971 when St Ann’s first opened its doors. Some of those signing up are already pledging to take part in fancy dress, and many are also taking advantage of the 1970s music playlist to get their feet moving even more quickly for the challenge.
“Everyone who signs up will get a t-shirt and free fundraising pack, and will also receive a special birthday edition medal on completion.
“I’ve signed up and am raring to go – will you please join me?”