The Fun on the Farm Sleep Walk has been deemed another successful event for Rowcroft Hospice. 1,364 ladies took part in Rowcroft’s Fun on the Farm Sleep Walk on Saturday night and have pledged to raise an amazing £101,705 for the hospice.
The annual women’s walk has sky-rocketed in popularity since its launch in 2011, and is now a key event in the Torbay summer season. With the jubilation of the England football win in the air, many sleepwalkers crossed the start line with an extra spring in their step.
Over the past eight years The Sleep Walk has generated over £1.2 million for the hospice. Last night ladies from across South Devon came together to walk five or ten miles to support the local hospice. The night walk covered routes along Paignton and Torquay seafronts, with the last Sleep Walker crossing the finish line at 2.15 this morning.
The first walkers to cross the finish line were a trio of ladies; Dionne Newton and Norma Layton both from Torquay and Ros Willis-Fear from Paignton. Upon arriving at Torbay Leisure Centre to collect their medals and a well-deserved bacon bap Norma said “It feels surreal and exhilarating to be the first one back.” Dionne added “It’s great fun out there, there’s a real feeling a comradery, even people on the beach were cheering us on.”
Ros Willis-Fear was walking in memory of her husband Michael and explained; “Sadly Michael fell ill in the middle of 2014, he was eventually diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and he deteriorated frighteningly fast. He went to the Inpatient Unit at Rowcroft for a fortnight and the care he received was brilliant. The support he received for his symptoms enabled him to return home, they were absolutely superb. Rowcroft is a special place to me and I do The Sleep Walk because I want to give back to the hospice that cared for Michael.”
Those taking part in the walk were blessed with a warm evening and treated to a beautiful sunset across the Bay.
Jennifer Jeffery from Dawlish said “We did the ten mile walk. It was really enjoyable and for such a worthwhile cause. The marshals were brilliant and very supportive as we made our way around the route. The Sleep Walk is a great experience – I would highly recommend it to anyone.”
Rowcroft’s Events Manager, Stewart Molyneux, gave a special thank you to all the participants and volunteers who made the Fun on the Farm Sleepwalk possible, “What an incredible night! The atmosphere was amazing all the way through and the ladies and girls who took part carried bundles of energy and enthusiasm with them every step of the way.”
“We have also been so impressed with the level of fundraising this year, thank you for all of your hard work and support! Every pound raised in The Sleep Walk goes towards helping local people in need of Rowcroft’s services. Thank you for helping us make every day the best day possible for thousands of people living with life-limiting illnesses across South Devon.”
Stewart added: “We would also like to say a massive thank you to all of our volunteers whose generous support helped the event run so smoothly. We genuinely aren’t able to deliver our events without you and this year, you have surpassed yourselves. The energy, enthusiasm and dedication to Rowcroft was amazing and created a really special atmosphere on the night! Thank you!”
The event was supported by many local businesses as well as 165 volunteers who gave their time and worked through the night to support this much-loved charity.
Patricia Goss from Paignton has been a Rowcroft volunteer since 1987, and volunteered her time at the Sleepwalk serving refreshments to walkers as they returned to Torbay Leisure Centre. She said “Congratulations to the Rowcroft team who organise the event, it’s not easy but it has all come together. Volunteering is also a great way to make friends; you can never be lonely if you join the Rowcroft volunteers.”
Peter Pike from Churston volunteered alongside Patricia, and has been a Sleep Walk volunteer for five years. He added “It’s great working alongside the other volunteers; we all get on very well. We do it for the people who support Rowcroft. I get a lot of pleasure from seeing people smiling when you help them.”
It is hoped The Sleep Walk will raise an incredible £101,707 this year, every penny of which will help support people living with a life limiting illness in South Devon. This impressive total does not take into account sales of merchandise and other funds raised on the night, which are set to make the amount rise again in the coming days.
Associate Director of Fundraising, Rachael Bryett, said: “Events like The Sleep Walk play an integral part in the Rowcroft fundraising calendar. The income generated across the event plays a vital role in allowing us to provide end of life care to the people of South Devon.”
“The Sleep Walk is such an amazing event for bringing women together across South Devon and seeing the support from the local community is truly remarkable. Since the launch of the first Sleep Walk in 2011 we have been supported by over 11,000 women and girls who have fundraised for the event.”