Derry women ‘do Hospice proud’ at annual female walk

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More than 4,200 ladies of all ages pounded the streets of Derry on Sunday as the annual Foyle Hospice Female Walk/Run got underway - marking one of the fundraising highlights in the charity’s calendar.

The participants, from babies in prams to the more mature ladies, this year followed a new route leaving from the traditional finish line of Templemore Sports Complex and winding their way along the Buncrana Road, along the Quay and over the Peace Bridge to finish at Ebrington Square.

Three generations of Hospice walkers - Kathleen Doherty, front left, pictured with her daughers, Erin Hutcheon, 'Derry Journal' news editor,and Shannon Healy at rear and her grand-daughters, front from left to right, Amy Hutcheon, Lucy Healy and Tara Healy. Also included is family friend, Mary McKenna .

Three generations of Hospice walkers - Kathleen Doherty, front left, pictured with her daughers, Erin Hutcheon, 'Derry Journal' news editor,and Shannon Healy at rear and her grand-daughters, front from left to right, Amy Hutcheon, Lucy Healy and Tara Healy. Also included is family friend, Mary McKenna .

Ciaran McGinley, Head of Fundraising, said all at the Hospice were “over the moon” at how Sunday’s event had gone off. “Once more the women of Derry and the North West have done us proud, as they do every year,” he said.

Mr McGinley said the new route had added a “whole dimension” to the day and the dry weather was a welcome addition to the proceedings after walkers were drenched to the skin in 2011.

“The new route added a great deal to the walk. There really was a carnival atmosphere and finishing at Ebrington Square, in such a vast space, meant that the walkers could spend some time mingling and chatting before moving on to St. Columb’s Park.

“Everyone who took part should congratulate themselves on their efforts. They have made a huge difference to the lives of our patients, their families and all who rely on the Foyle Hospice. They have given us something truly special.”

While it is too early to know how much the event will have raised, Mr McGinley said the walk is one of the Hospice’s biggest fundraising events. “We’d encourage everyone to get their sponsor money as soon as they can,” he said.