02:58PM, Thursday 23 June 2022
Tears of sadness and laughter flowed as families took part in a charity walk to remember their loved ones.
Thames Hospice hosted its annual Sunflower Walk at Bray Lake on Saturday.
It was the first time the key fundraiser has been held at Bray Lake since the charity’s new hospice opened next door.
More than 200 people strolled side-by-side around the lake before returning to the hospice to leave messages for loved ones on a dedicated memory tree.
Michaela Parker, who walked in memory of her mum, said: “We took part in the Sunflower Walk as the hospice looked after my mum last year before she passed away.
“The teams here were great for caring for both her and my whole family.”
Michaela Parker at Saturday's Sunflower Walk
Debbie Raven, chief executive at Thames Hospice, added: “Coming to an event like the Sunflower Walk is a really good opportunity for people to come back and visit because it’s still very poignant but it’s not so intense.
“There were tears, but there was also laughter and that’s what hospices are about.
“As well as coming back to the hospice to remember their loved ones, they are here to support us.
“By coming here and doing that walk they’re remembering the person they’ve loved but also they’re raising money for the hospice so it’s really therapeutic for people to be part of it.”
Thames Hospice’s new fundraising and marketing director, Amy Chambers, added: “It was humbling to hear stories of how beautifully the Hospice cared for their loved ones. It’s understandably a very emotional day for many people, uniting with others to remember friends and relatives who have passed.
“We are eternally grateful for our community’s unwavering support. All funds raised from the Sunflower Walk will help us to continue to provide compassionate hospice care.”
A total of £20,000 has been raised to date by the Sunflower Walk event. Visit thameshospice.org.uk/donate to support the charity.