J-P Wooding: We all need to go Santa Sauntering

The Santa Saunter at Wicksteed Park is for a cause close to J-P's heart
The Santa Saunter at Wicksteed Park is for a cause close to J-P's heart

My family and I shall be enjoying a pleasant walk around Wicksteed Park on Sunday morning.

Nothing unusual about that, except that we shall all be dressed as Santa and so will many, many others, all for a fantastic cause.

The viral video during the summer of people taking part in the ice bucket challenge did a great job of raising awareness of MND, or motor neurone disease to give this debilitating disease its correct title.

It was great to see how effective social media can be to spread the word about a subject that has touched many, me included.

My father-in-law, Paul Knight, tragically suffered from this and during the battles he and the family faced, they all received fantastic and invaluable support from Cransley Hospice in his home town, Kettering.

They also greatly assisted my Nana, Win Griffin, during the final stages of her long battle with cancer; their help was invaluable.

Many changes needed to take place in the home and lifestyles of all effected and without the work the staff and association put in, the final stages of his battle would have been a lot harder.

Like other associations around the country, Cransley Hospice needs all the assistance it can get to support both patients and families who are affected by illnesses where cure may no longer be an option. The Cransley Hospice Trust is independent from the NHS and has set targets to raise more than £850,000 per year – this is where lots of children and adults dressed as Santa come in!

We shall all stroll around Wicksteed Park and its lake, many of us with dogs (Daisy has been known to wear a white beard in the past), all knowing why it is so important events like it take place.

For a small fee we will be given Santa suits to wear, a hot or cold drink, mince pie and biscuits and a small memento of the day.

The event is very kindly supported by Kettering Huxloe Rotary.

This is the fifth year it has taken place and my daughter Rose, now aged six, has taken part in all of them.

It would be nice to see as many there as possible; we never know when someone we know may need the support of the hospice and the services it provides.

Registration is at 10.30am and the walk starts at 11am. For more information you can check at www.cransleyhospice.org.uk.