New date set for East Lancashire Hospitals charity walk

A new date has been set for a fund-raising walk organised by the official charity of East Lancashire Hospitals Trust.

Monday, 26th July 2021, 3:45 pm

ELHT&Me, the official charity of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust, has postponed its first post-pandemic fundraising event to September.

The eight-mile challenge was due to take place on Sunday, July 4 but will now see walkers stepping out on Sunday, September 26th in light of recent government guidance.

NHS staff and members of the public will join forces to raise much-needed funds for the charity, which supports hospitals in Blackburn, Burnley, Pendle, Clitheroe and Accrington.

All walkers who have already signed up to the event have been contacted about the date change this week.

Anyone who cannot make the new date will not have to miss out as the charity has launched a virtual walk, starting from this weekend and running until the event. Virtual walkers, who can be any age, can complete eight miles at their own pace anywhere they like, in one go or spread out over different dates.

Organisers last week announced a month-long extension of the early bird price of £20 per walker. They now hope the postponed date will result in a surge in entries, with people pledging to put their best feet forward on the route.

Emma Heinicke, ELHT&Me community fund-raiser, said: “We understand there may be some disappointment but we hope even more people will be encouraged to put on their trainers and join us on the day, following in the footsteps of the hundreds of people who took on our 2019 route.

“We’ve all been walking more during the pandemic and enjoying the physical and mental wellbeing benefits of getting out into the fresh air, whether alone or as part of a group. With us now having the summer months to prepare, what better way to get out and support your local hospitals – so get the new date in your diary.”

All finishers receive a stunning, limited edition medal and a traditional afternoon tea to celebrate their achievement.

The route sets off from Royal Blackburn’s Park View offices with the charity’s mascot Elmore directing walkers to ‘ready, teddy, go’ at 10-30am. The route, which will be marshalled thanks to East Ribble District Freemasons, reaches Belthorn for a welcomed hydration stop at the Dog Inn. The next part of the walk incorporates some of the Belthorn Heritage Trail before heading out into the open countryside again, providing spectacular views, before heading back.

Everyone is encouraged to wear something blue to take part and show their support to the NHS. Dogs are welcome on the walk and can even help raise funds by collecting sponsorship too.

Visit https://elht.nhs.uk/big-nhs-walk to take part in the walk. Entry is currently at the early bird price of £20 for the in-person walk and £10 for the virtual event.