'Light up the night' in memory of loved ones

Peter Bayne

Reporter:

Peter Bayne

Email:

peter.bayne@newrydemocrat.com

Thursday 28 July 2022 11:07

‘END of life charity Marie Curie is calling on people to create lots of mini Twilight Walks across Northern Ireland and ‘light up the night’ to remember lost loved ones as they come together with family, friends to take part a local event.

The ‘your walk, your way’ events can be as large or as small as the organisers want to host, as every pound raised or donated is welcomed by the charity.

Marie Curie is asking for the local walks to be run throughout the month of September which will culminate with the main Twilight Walk event to be held in Belfast’s Barnett Demesne on Friday, September 30 from 7.30pm. It’s the first time since 2019 that Twilight Walk has been able to be held due to the pandemic.

Hundreds of community and family-organised Twilight Walks took place throughout Northern Ireland in 2020 and 2021 when covid regulations meant that large gatherings of people were not allowed to take place.

Phil Kane, Marie Curie’s community fundraiser for the Newry area, explained: “The impact of the covid pandemic on public events was severe but our ever loyal and creative supporters found other ways to come together and remember and celebrate the lives of their lost family members and friends while helping to raise money for Marie Curie.

“We were overwhelmed by the many local walks which were held by families, communities, friends, team-mates and work colleagues who found a way to have some fun and laughter while remembering those they had lost. There’s always some tears mixed with laughter and great memories as they light a lantern in the person’s honour and remember the good times.”

He added he hoped that more community events would be held this year by individuals or groups who would prefer to stay local with their walks rather than attending the flagship Belfast event. Phil emphasised that any walk did not need to be a large event and could be held with as little as four or five people attending.

“Hosting a Twilight Walk is a great way of supporting people dealing with death, dying and bereavement while helping the work of Marie Curie. We are here to support your walk done in your way and your own time and provide lanterns to light at the end in what is always a poignant moment for those taking part,” he continued.

Marie Curie faced significant challenges and a devastating loss of funds due to the impact the coronavirus crisis had on fundraising activities. It needs to raise funds to support people with terminal illness across Northern Ireland where £180 raised will cover nursing care for one night at home and at its Belfast hospice. For more information and to sign up for free to do your own Twilight Walk visit www.mariecurie.org.uk/twilightwalk or email walkni@mariecurie.org.uk.

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