Chestnut Tree House’s annual midnight walk has been cancelled this year.
The Night to Remember event, which has been a hugely successful womens-only fundraiser since 2010, has been called off due in part to the proposed redevelopment of its starting venue, the Sovereign Centre.
Each year in May, up to 800 women have set of from the sports centre walking 5, 10, or 15 miles through the night and raising more than £550,000 for the charity.
But organisers say the site cannot by guaranteed for this May which means they have had to review the event.
Kerry O’Neill, event organiser, said, “We have had eight fantastic Night to Remember midnight walks in East Sussex, but we feel it’s time to make some changes.
“Having spoken to some of our past walkers, we want to offer something a bit different in the future and to find ways to make it more challenging for those who want that.
“Last year’s event raised £62,000 for Chestnut Tree, enough to cover the costs of 26 days of all their care in the community, looking after children with life-shortening conditions and their families in their own homes across East and West Sussex and South East Hampshire.
“The charity says that it still needs to raise this money and is looking for supporters to take on their own challenges to raise funds in 2018.”
She went on, “We have a lot going on in 2018. It’s our 15th Birthday year so there will be plenty of events and celebrations happening throughout the year, as well as our Open Days in October.
“For our loyal supporters in East Sussex who are keen to take on a challenge there are lots of things they can do for Chestnut Tree House instead of the Night to Remember event.”
For those who love to walk, the Friends of Sussex Hospices’ Sussex Hospice Trail offers a variety of walking routes across the county. Supporters can walk as much or as little of it as they want, whenever they want, and get sponsored.
For a bigger challenge, the South Coast Challenge is a 25, 50 or 100km run, walk or jog across the South Downs over August bank holiday weekend.
Chestnut Tree has also launched their Inca Trek Challenge for 2019.
Registration is now open for the opportunity to trek along this ancient route in Peru, ending at the world famous ancient city of Machu Picchu.
Kerry said, “These are just a few of the challenges we offer. Whatever your passion, we can find the perfect way for you to have fun whilst raising funds for Chestnut Tree, so we would love you to get in touch.
She said, “It’s been a tough decision to take a break from Night to Remember for 2018, we know there will be disappointment among our loyal band of walkers as well as the hundreds of volunteers who donate their precious time each year. But we feel it is the right decision and we will be bringing a big event to East Sussex in 2019.
“In the meantime we hope that the people of the county will continue to support us in the fantastic way they have over the past 15 years and help us
to continue caring for local children and families.”
The key message from organisers at Chestnut Tree is that there will be a flagship event in East Sussex in the future.
If you would like to take on a challenge in 2018 to replace your Night to Remember walk, then get in touch with the team by calling 01323 725095 or emailing events@chestnut-tree- house.org.uk or visit www.chestnut-tree- house.org.uk/nighttoremember where you can find out more.