Hundreds of hospital staff joined members of the public in enjoying the beautiful East Lancashire countryside and raising more than £10,000 for our hospitals in the process.
The first ever Big NHS Walk on Sunday saw almost 200 walkers set off on two 12-mile walks, from Burnley General Hospital and the Royal Blackburn Hospital, to raise money for ELHT&Me, the official charity of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust.
The Mayor of Burnley, Coun. Anne Kelly, welcomed the walkers before they set off.
When all registration fees and sponsorship monies are counted, the walk will have raised in excess of £10,000 to improve NHS hospital and community services in East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen through ELHT&Me.
Michelle Brown, who completed the Burnley-to-Padiham walk, said: “It was a great day out and such a nice feeling to know we’ve raised money for our local NHS services."
All 200 participants completed a 12-mile stroll through beautiful East Lancashire scenery to meet up at the headquarters of main sponsor, Business First, at Shuttleworth Mead Business Park in Padiham.
First to welcome the finishers was ELHT&Me mascot ELMORE and each finisher was presented with a Big NHS Walk medal.
Christine Hughes, East Lancashire Hospitals’ Director of Communications and Engagement, said: “The charity is delighted to have hosted our first ever Big NHS Walk, and I’d like to say congratulations to everyone who took part.
“The event has generated a huge amount of community spirit and shown how passionate the people of East Lancashire are about their local hospitals. Everyone uses the NHS at some point in their lives, and the Big NHS Walk is a great way of showing your appreciation for the NHS.
“All the money raised – which is above and beyond the standard NHS funding - will help to improve the experience that patients receive at their local NHS hospitals.”
A range of sponsors were involved in making the event a success – Business First, the Burnley and East Lancashire Freemasons, who provided marshals and logistic support, the Thorn Inn and Padiham Leisure Centre, who volunteered as pit stops for the walkers and Fagan and Whalley, who provided car parking space.
Registration for the 2020 Big NHS Walk will open in the Autumn. For more information on ELHT&Me, or to find out more about fundraising opportunities, visit www.elht.nhs.uk/charity