Hospiscare is celebrating the success of its first-ever Virtually Twilight walk for Exeter and East Devon, which raised more than £16,000 for the charity.
When the coronavirus stopped all large-scale events, the charity cancelled its annual Twilight Walk in Exmouth, with a loss of funds for Hospiscare.
Instead the charity, which cares for terminally ill adults and their families in Exeter, Mid and East Devon, organised a mass virtual event, inviting people to choose their own social-distanced walk, with laps of the garden, a stair climb, or stroll in the countryside.
A spokeswoman for Hospiscare said: “The charity is happy to report the event was a huge success, raising an incredible £16,000 with money still coming in.”
She added: “In April, a difficult decision was made to cancel this year’s Twilight Walk, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“With the on-going situation and talks of a potential second lockdown, Hospiscare quickly realised they would have to change their approach to ensure that fundraising continues.
“Virtually Twilight offered participants the chance to choose their own walk, and saw participants undertaking all manners of exercise including laps of the garden, a stair climb, and a five-mile walk in the beautiful Devon countryside.
“The self-guided approach meant Hospiscare relied heavily on participants and they were certainly not let down.”
In keeping with the traditional Twilight Walk, where those taking part team up with large groups of family and friends, Hospiscare encouraged Virtually Twilight walkers to take part with their household and share their fun online with loved-ones, through Facetime or Zoom.
The spokeswoman said: “The care that Hospiscare provides is funded by donations and therefore relies on mass participation events such as their usual Twilight Walk to provide much-needed funds each year.”
She added: “The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on the local charity’s fundraising efforts with all of its charity shops forced to close and many of its major events cancelled.
“Despite this, the need for end of life care remains the same and Hospiscare is currently facing a loss in income of around one million pounds every three months.”
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