Lorraine and her team-mates share their fundraising tips

Here's some Girls Night Out fundraising inspiration.

Brandon residents, Loraine Skikunas and her team-mates Julie Cowan and Jessica Fleming have got their fundraising underway, raising £207.45 by holding a cake stall, and they are now setting their sights on their next events - a quiz night in July and bingo night in August.

They will be walking their fourth Girls Night Out as team Marley's Angels, in memory of Loraine's godson who passed away as a baby.

Loraine said: “I think the Hospice is an amazing place. I went along to the Hospice to hand the money we raised from a previous Girls Night Out and couldn’t believe how calm and relaxing the place was. Even my young daughter who was hyper in the car park suddenly calmed down when she looked around the beautiful gardens.”

We'd love to hear about your fundraising plans - let us know by commenting below.

We visit the Mildenhall Marvels!

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We were delighted to pop over to Mildenhall last week to visit the Mildenhall Marvels, who are joining us at this year's Girls Night Out.

Donna Cooper, Mildenhall Slimming World Group Consultant, has already signed up over 30 women from her Wednesday group. This is the fifth time the Mildenhall Marvels have walked with us, and we are very grateful for their continued support.

Donna says: “No other charity event is like this, you are not seen as just a number. The Hospice Fundraising Team make you feel valued and that you can make a difference to local people’s lives. You might be fortunate enough not to need Hospice care at the moment, but you never know what the future holds.”

Donna jokes: “Of course we are very happy that the bacon butties at the end of the walk have been changed to 'Syn Free' cupcakes! (Well, not quite Syn Free!).”

Allison's story

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Allison Humphreys, of Bury St Edmunds, will be walking with her good friend Julie Elder. They always make sure they are at the front at the start of the walk and Allison who has Multiple Sclerosis is proud to say they finish the walk in under three hours.

Allison said:

“I’ve walked Girls Night Out nine times now. Some years I find it very difficult and struggle with my legs the next day, but it’s worth it.

“My husband David will be at the nine-mile point of the walk, waiting to hand me my hooded jumper and a bacon roll to keep me going.”

One week to go to sign up with the early bird offer

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Hundreds of women have now signed up to take part in Girls Night Out, but we are calling for more to join us.

With four months to go until this year’s walk, on Saturday, 14 September, more than 700 women have already registered.

There has never been a better time to sign up, because all entries received by Friday, 31 May will qualify for a special reduced early bird registration offer of £10 (all entries received after this date will cost £15).

Jenny Smith, the hospice’s events manager, said:

 “We would love to see as many women as possible support us on the night.  So please if you are thinking of signing up please don’t delay, grab your friends and family members and join us on September 14.”

“We believe everyone matters in life and death and your event registration fee and sponsorship money will enable us to equip the community, provide care and strive for something better for people living with dying, death and grief.”

Julie's story

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Julie, from Thetford, was one of the first walkers in 2009 and she is set to walk again this year, with her friend Allison, in memory of her mum, Margaret, who spent her last days in the Hospice.

“I think Girls Night Out is amazing with the pink bunny ears glowing up and helping you find your way. The walk is very well organised and when you walk through the town, the residents come out of their houses, cheer you along and hand you sweets and chocolates.

“I remember the Hospice as having a real calm feeling and it’s been very comforting to remember Mum in there. When I was walking up to the Hospice during Girls Night Out it was a very emotional time for me. It felt like Mum was waiting for me there.”

We've launched Girls Night Out 2019!

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Join us for this year’s Girls Night Out walk, sponsored by JM Finn.

Don your pyjamas, a pair of glowing bunny ears and a huge smile and join us to walk 11.2 or six miles through Bury St Edmunds on Saturday, 14 September. An early-bird discount is available for those who are keen to sign up and get on with their fundraising. Walkers pay £10 each before 31 May and £15 from 1 June onwards.

To sign up, please click here: http://www.girlsnightoutwalk.co.uk/

Meet the Girls Night Out organising team

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Whether it’s a question about the route, a query about a sponsorship form or bright idea for a fundraiser, bunny ears and pyjamas are never far from the minds of the Hospice’s Girls Night Out Events Team, consisting of Jenny Smith, Charlie De-Moore and Emma Clements. 

It’s their job to make sure all of our walkers have a wonderful time and the night runs without a hitch. Their duties, to name just a few, are to make sure that everyone stays safe, that there are plenty of T-shirts to go around, enough loos on the night and of course that everyone gets their bunny ears. 

You will have received emails from them and possibly even phone calls, but if you see them on the night, don’t forget to say hello and give them a wave!

Mildenhall Marvels go the extra mile

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Thank you to the Mildenhall Marvels who will once again be going the extra mile to support this year’s Girls Night Out.

With a diary clash meaning they are unable to join everyone for the 10th walk in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday, 8 September, the team didn’t want to miss out so have decided to organise their own mini Girls Night Out.

With Mildenhall Slimming World consultant Donna Cooper organising the event on Sunday, 26 August, it is hoped 50 marvellous women will take part in the walk, with others helping out on the day as marshals too.

Walkers will be pacing either a three, seven or 10-mile route from Mildenhall Cricket Club along the West Row path.

Good luck Mildenhall Marvels!

Keep warm and hydrated Girls Night Out-style

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If you’d like to keep warm and hydrated in true Girls Night Out style, hoodies and water bottles will be available to buy as you collect your T-shirts, or on the night of the event. 

On the night, we usually hand out water bottles to walkers along the route, however, this year we doing things a bit differently. To reduce the use of single-use plastic bottles we are encouraging walkers to bring their own bottles and containers and at refreshment stops there will be jugs of water that walkers can use to top up their bottles. 

Girls Night Out hoodies: £15 (available in sizes medium / large / extra large)
Girls Night Out water bottle: £3

Where to buy:
Sunday 19 August, 11am–2pm at St Nicholas Hospice Care, Hardwick Lane, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 2QY
Thursday 23 August, 5–7pm at Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club, Southgate Green, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 2BL
Saturday 8 September, Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds, before the walk

Keep an eye out for the Girls Night Out mannequins

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Twelve Bury St Edmunds retailers will be helping us to promote Girls Night Out next week.

From 13-19 August, you'll be able to spot shop mannequins wearing Girls Night Out T-shirts and bunny ears. 

Thank you to the following shops for their generosity: Mistral, Hobbs, Topshop, White Stuff, Next, Peacocks, Laura Ashley, New Look, Javelin, Odyssey, Elizabeth Gash and Blushes of Brandon. You'll also find them in all our Hospice shops.

This year's T-shirts have been revealed!

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Here's a glimpse of this year's Girls Night Out T-shirts!

There are two chances to collect your T-shirts before the event:
Sunday 19 August, 11am–2pm, at St Nicholas Hospice Care, Hardwick Lane, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 2QY
Thursday 23 August, 5–7pm at Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club, Southgate Green, Bury St Edmunds, IP33 2BL

If you can't make those days then a friend can collect your T-shirt for you (they just need your name and T-shirt size) or you can collect on the night. You will also be able to collect your bunny ears on the night.

Hospice team joins Girls Night Out

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We're delighted that a team from the Hospice's Sylvan Ward will be walking with us again this year. 

The team said: “We think it is so important to be involved” and “to contribute to the organisation that relies so much on funds raised.”

Some members of the 11-strong team will be walking six miles, whilst others will be challenging themselves to the 11.2-mile route.

Best of luck to the team!

T-shirt collection dates for your diary

This year there are two collection dates:

  • Sunday 19 August, 11am-2pm, at the Hospice
  • Thursday 23 August, 5pm-7pm, at Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club

One person can collect T-shirts on behalf of the rest of their team or their friends. For those who cannot make either of these dates, T-shirts can be collected on 8 September on Angel Hill, when registering to walk. Bunny ears will be supplied on the night.

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Mother and daughter team set to take on Girls Night Out

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A determined mother and daughter team will don their bunny ears and pyjamas for a special challenge as they take part in Girls Night Out.

The event will be extra special for Belle, as, joined by her daughter Jessie, it will be her chance to complete the event after being prevented from doing so by illness for the last two years.

Belle said: “I am absolutely determined to take part this year. For me, this is so much more than a fundraiser. It’s about achieving a goal that I set myself some time ago.”

Belle had wanted to take part in the walk in 2016 but she was unable to after she was diagnosed with stage three secondary melanoma.

Following an operation to remove a malignant tumour from her inner leg, and lymph nodes from her upper leg and across her abdomen, Belle was diagnosed with lymphoedema in her left leg, which meant she was unable to join 2017’s walk.

Although the lymphoedema causes her a huge amount of pain, difficulty walking and swelling, with a little help from the Bury St Edmunds Rickshaw and her daughter Jessie, Belle has signed up to complete the event’s six-mile route.

Belle said: “I know wanting to complete the six-mile route is very ambitious and it will be extremely tough, but I am so determined to do it. I am very stubborn and I won’t give up.

“I do have post-surgery muscle and nerve damage which means I constantly fall and have difficulty walking on an incline or on uneven surfaces, which is why I am grateful to be going in the rickshaw for the first section.

“I have been working on building up my strength and endurance and I just want to give it a go.

“I will also have my daughter Jessie with me. I have told her she might have to give me a piggyback over the finish line, but I am looking forward to being able to take part with her. We are such a team and we always will be.”

The Bury St Edmunds Rickshaw project is based on the Cycling Without Age scheme that originated in Copenhagen and is now popular in many towns and cities all over the world.

The project involves obtaining funding for a rickshaw, recruiting and training volunteer riders, and then offering free rides around the town to people experiencing limited mobility/and or social isolation.

You can support Belle and Jessie’s fundraising here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/belle-jessie-chilvers 

Meet the women behind this year's Girls Night Out campaign

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Meet the three women who helped us launch this year's Girls Night Out campaign.

Sisters Lisa Trevelyan and Ruth Tucker and Lisa’s daughter Penny Boyle are part of a family team of five who have walked every Girls Night Out since the event began.

Every year they walk in memory of their mother and nanny Carol Tucker, who died just three weeks before the first event.

Here, they share what Girls Night Out means to them.

Lisa says: “Our mother died in the August and then the first Girls Night Out walk took place in the September. The five of us decided we wanted to do it as a family.”

“After mum died and we heard about Girls Night Out, it just seemed like fate, we all knew it was something we wanted to do,” added Ruth.

Lisa said: “Thinking back to the first night, if I am honest I can’t really remember too much. Taking part was very emotional for all of us. It was very raw.

“That night we did the walk in our quickest time. We had seen how much pain mum had been in and I think we just wanted to walk as quickly as we could to put ourselves through a bit of pain as well.

“But, over the years that has changed. For us it’s not a sad occasion anymore, it is a time when we come together to celebrate and remember mum. There’s a lot of laughter.”

Local Beavers and Cubs hold their own 'Scouts Night Out'

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Inspired by our September event, this group of Beavers and Cubs recently held their very own Scouts Night Out.

The 6th Bury St Edmunds St Mary’s Beaver Scout Colony came up with the initial idea and they were joined by other Beaver and Cub groups from across the area, including the 1st Bury St Edmunds Mayor's Own Beaver Scout Colony, the 1st Lakenheath Beaver Scout Colony, the Great Barton Seasons Beaver Scout Colony and the Great Barton Wolves Cub Scout Pack.

Donning their pyjamas and bunny ears with pride, 111 Beavers, Cubs and their supporters completed the challenge which was over two miles in Nowton Park last week, with many being sponsored in aid of the Hospice too.

Well done and a huge thank you to everyone who took part.