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Laps For Loved Ones returns in 2019

Each year they come in their droves. With memories to share, picnics to enjoy and a fair smattering of fun and laughter.

Walkers of all ages gather at the north Cumbrian beauty spot of Talkin Tarn near Brampton for the annual Laps for Loved Ones charity trek to raise thousands of pounds for Eden Valley Hospice.

This year preparations are already well underway for the walk on Sunday 14 July which is being led by the usual dedicated team of Carol Sharman and Rachael Little, both healthcare assistants on the adult unit at the Eden Valley Hospice in Durdar Road, Carlisle.

Carol and Rachael are hoping for good weather but while sunshine is never a given, the dedication of these two women is a constant. With cajoling and hard work, the pair are the motivation behind Laps for Loved Ones making it one of the premier events in North Cumbria’s fundraising calendar.

The event is now in its third year having collected a staggering £5,355 in 2017 and £3,418 last year; a total of £8,773 since it started.

Sam Johnston, Community and Events Fundraiser at the Eden Valley Hospice, said the event also raised the profile of the unit providing the opportunity for fundraising stalls along the way for small businesses.

“It is an inspirational day. People can walk as far as they want or are able,” he said. Carol explained they are committed to taking part in the challenge because of what it means to everyone involved in the hospice.

“We collect money but it is not just all about the funding, “she said. “It is about giving something back to the people we have nursed and their families.

“We get tremendous support from everyone. Families, patients, friends. People join in on the day at Talkin Tarn. They walk their dogs putting money in collection boxes. Last year we even had a ferret on a lead for half the course. We also get support from Tesco and Santander Bank.”

The determined pair provide care, support and activities for those with life-limiting illnesses at the hospice.

Carol said:

"For all the families we have nursed and people we have hugged and had hours of special talks and tears with, we thought we would do something to help to continue the very special care and companionship that every one of these families need.

"In 2017 we decided to do 20 times around Talkin Tarn which meant we walked 25 miles to celebrate 25 years of the Hospice. Since then we complete a more manageable 10 laps. I don't think we could do a marathon again!"

Eden Valley Hospice costs nearly £4m a year to run, with less than 25% coming from NHS funding meaning support from the community is vital.

The Hospice provides services including an adult in-patient unit, adult day hospice, out-patient clinics, complementary therapies and carers support.

Sam added:

"All services are provided by highly qualified staff and a large team of committed volunteers.

"We recognise that it is only through the generosity of local people that we are able to continue to provide the highest standard of care, free of charge to our patients and their families."

There is no registration fee for Laps for Loved Ones, just take part and help raise vital funds for Eden Valley Hospice.