This month marks our Virtual Sunrise Walk – asking people to join us throughout June to chose a walk of their choice and experience it at sunrise.

Emma, and her triumphant team of teachers share the reason they are embarking on their own Sunrise Walk to raise money for their local children’s hospice charity.

Emma is a teacher at Portesbery School in Camberley, where several children that are supported by Shooting Star Children’s Hospices attend. Emma, along with a team of her colleagues are planning a 20km Sunrise Walk route this June. The team are no strangers to the event, previously taking part in the Richmond walk in 2015, 2017 and 2018 and the newer Guildford walk in 2019 – raising an amazing £2,400.

Emma with friends at the 2017 Sunrise Walk

Emma explains, “We really enjoy taking part in the Sunrise Walk. It’s always a great atmosphere and the memory tree for walkers to hang their lanterns at the beginning is always so moving. It’s a hard walk mentally, but we know by taking part we are doing something to help. We know how important the service is to the families, it’s a lifeline for so many of our parents. The charity gives them an opportunity to form friendships with other parents in a similar situation and to take part in activities like swimming, which is something that just wouldn’t be possible for many of them to do usually.”

Emma with friends at the 2017 Sunrise Walk

Fellow teacher and team member, Lynne Howe said, “This will be my third Sunrise Walk I will be taking part in. Shooting Star Children’s Hospices has, and still is helping so many families of young people that are needing support and this is just my way of supporting them and saying thank you for everything they do.”

The team plan to start and finish back at the school, setting off at 4am to ensure they catch the sun as it rises. Emma continues, “We know it’ll be difficult to get up so early but understand that for many of the families the charity supports, they are often up throughout the night due to the complex conditions their children have – so we can certainly manage one early morning to raise money for them.”

The team have also cleverly thought ahead to their breakfast celebration, with the school’s Headteacher, Nathan Aspinall, planning to valiantly run the route so they’ll be back in time to have the bacon butties ready for their return. After which, they plan to hold a small memorial gathering at the school in memory and celebration.

Teacher and team member, Tracey Haigh, concluded, “I’ve taken part in the Sunrise Walk for a number of years because Shooting Star Children’s Hospices have supported so many of our students over many years. In the last four years they have given care to some of my students reaching end of life and have supported the families as well. I wish there wasn’t the need for a place like Shooting Star Children’s Hospices but when the worst is going to happen, it’s the best place to go.”

It’s very easy to register, with walkers receiving a Sunrise Walk t-shirt and what’s more, if you raise £100 you will receive a super shiny medal. By taking part, Shooting Star Children’s Hospices can continue to be there for families, now and for many sunrises to come.

Also as restrictions are relaxing, we’re thrilled to announce that our Guildford Sunrise Walk will be taking place on Sunday 17 October. The Guildford trail takes walkers through parts of the beautiful North Downs Way – where you can expect to see a kaleidoscope of colour basked in glorious autumnal sunshine. Registration open soon!

If you’d like to take part in your own Virtual Sunrise Walk and support Shooting Star Children’s Hospices you can find out more and sign up here.