It’s back! The annual sponsored walk by the Crazy Hats Breast Cancer Appeal is returning to Wicksteed Park in March.
The Wellingborough-based charity is inviting people to put their ‘breast foot forward’ and sign up for the walk starting at 10.30am on Sunday, March 18.
This year’s walk will be ‘The Super 16th’ and organisers are keen to attract people in the county, whose lives have been affected by breast cancer, to get their friends, relatives and colleagues together for the five-mile walk with a choice of short or long scenic routes around the park.
Charity founder Glennis Hooper said: “The idea of a sponsored walk came about in 2003 from the children at my school.
“We had no idea what it would be like to organise such an event for adults.
“We were quite naive to begin with and resources were very limited, but it attracted 250 people and over £7,500 was raised through walkers getting sponsors.
“Fifteen years on, and now organising number 16, we have improved considerably over the years and have had huge turn-outs, raising a lot of money; our best ever year being 2010 when over £74,000 was raised and just under 3,000 walkers took part.
“People return year after year to take part and every year, with so many affected by the disease, we see many new faces.
“Everyone who takes part say what an uplifting experience it is to get out in the fresh air, to get some exercise and unite with like-minded people to raise the awareness of breast cancer and to practically help breast cancer services in Northamptonshire.
“To date we have given Kettering General Hospital almost £1 million, funding numerous projects from small items to very technical pieces of equipment; £900,000 to Northampton General Hospital and smaller amounts to Leicester Royal – with more to follow to KGH and NGH.
“In addition, we offer support for patients at our popular coffee and chat mornings, we organise numerous events and activities for patients and involve as many people as possible; we offer therapies, we sing together and we run a holiday home scheme – the latter proving to be very much in demand.
“We are proud that we are able to put on the walk each year, knowing we are up against it with many national charities organising similar events in and around the county.
“The Crazy Hats walk is local with funds raised helping local people.
“I stand by our saying ‘Together we can make a difference.’
“Please make a determined effort to keep this date free and walk with us – walk for someone you know whose life has been affected – walk for yourself.
“It really is an uplifting and moving morning and the feel-good factor of taking part, whatever the weather may throw at us, is amazing.”
And Glennis added: “We sincerely thank Wicksteed Park for allowing Crazy Hats to use their wonderful facilities and we thank Avon who, for the 11th year running have sponsored the event enabling us to keep entry fees down and that all walkers receive a t-shirt, medal, certificate and an Avon product.
“This year we will be really looking at the walkers’ hats as we look forward to launching a different awards system whereby more people can be rewarded and congratulated for their creations.
“Planning is going well, entry forms are out, online entries can be made through our website (www.crazyhatsbreastcancerappeal.co.uk) and entry forms can be downloaded or obtained by getting in touch with us on 01933 442999 or firstname.lastname@example.org
“Once people have entered every walker will be sent a pack containing all the information and details needed for the day.
“Can we repeat the success of 2010?
“It is more than possible.”