Walkers brave the heatwave to complete Carers Week fundraising hike

Carers and supporters braved the summer heat and stepped out for a fundraising walk in Stevenage to mark Carers Week 2023 and raise awareness about the need to support unpaid carers.

The walk, organised by Norman Phillips, who cares for his wife, took place around the lake at Fairlands Valley Park on Saturday 10th June 2023.

Norman, along with Elaine Sapstead, who cares for her husband, and Josephine Paice, a former carer for her father and the Registered Manager at Crossroads Caring for Life, spent five hours walking. They were led on their way at 11am by Stevenage Mayor Cllr Myla Arceno and Tom Hennessey, Director of Health Integration at Hertfordshire County Council, who joined them for some of the walk, along with Stevenage Deputy Mayor Cllr Jim Brown, the Leader of Stevenage Borough Council Cllr Richard Henry.

Some of our staff joined in the walk during the day as we are one of three charities that support unpaid family and friend carers that are benefiting from money raised. Other Stevenage councillors, Carer Champions from GP practices in the town and representatives of Marks & Spencer and Lister Hospital also did some laps.

Norman said: “Thank you to everyone who made the walk possible, who joined in or made a donation. It was challenging, particularly when temperatures soared to over 30°C, but we were determined to complete the walk and show how resilient carers are. It requires commitment and motivation to look after someone who is sick, disabled or elderly, and we certainly used these skills for the walk.”

Norman dedicated the walk to a former carer and Hertfordshire resident Mike Ormerod, who died in April 2023. Mike championed support for carers and volunteered with various organisations, including Carers in Hertfordshire as a Mentor, Ambassador and former Trustee and Chair.

So far around £600 has been raised and there is still time to make a donation at www.justgiving.com/team/stevenage2023carerswalk