Search

Star Walk: ‘Kitty’s Girls’ gear up for fifth night-time stroll with Saint Francis Hospice

PUBLISHED: 15:00 18 June 2017

Regular Star Walkers Michelle Johnson, Pauline Emberson, Kathy Barnes, Amanda Pitchford and Chloe Johnson are taking on the night-time stroll again this year

Regular Star Walkers Michelle Johnson, Pauline Emberson, Kathy Barnes, Amanda Pitchford and Chloe Johnson are taking on the night-time stroll again this year

Archant

The phrase ‘keeping it in the family’ applies all too well to Michelle Johnson’s fundraising efforts.

Michelle Johnson's nan Kathleen Allen was cared for by Saint Francis Hospice before she died of cancerMichelle Johnson's nan Kathleen Allen was cared for by Saint Francis Hospice before she died of cancer

The 41-year-old has tackled Saint Francis Hospice’s Star Walk four times with her daughter, sister, mum and aunt in tow, and the self-dubbed Kitty’s Girls are going to do it all over again this summer.

The team were inspired to start the tradition following the death in 2011 of Michelle’s nan Kathleen Allen, who spent her final five days at the Havering-atte-Bower hospice.

“The hospice was wonderful to my nan and you cannot put a price on that,” said Michelle, of Chelmsford, Essex.

“Everyone gave us so much time, attention and listened to us, which is what you need when you are going through something as traumatic as that.

Amanda, Chloe, Pauline, Kathy and Michelle with Brian Bennett, known as Lyrickal, who was a finalist on The Voice in 2016Amanda, Chloe, Pauline, Kathy and Michelle with Brian Bennett, known as Lyrickal, who was a finalist on The Voice in 2016

“Taking part in the Star Walk is something we can do to give something back – it is such an uplifting walk and we love the entertainment.”

Making up the Kitty’s Girls five are Michelle’s daughter Chloe, 14, sister Amanda Pitchford, 28, mum Pauline Emberson, 60, and aunt Kathy Barnes, 63.

Michelle, who lived with her nan for many years, has spoken of how the hospice worked hard to make sure Kathleen, who had cancer, felt as comfortable as possible. She was able to use her own duvet and pillow, and had photos of her family, Arsenal paraphernalia and a bottle of her favourite San Miguel beer with her.

Her loved ones were also able to sit and watch television with her.

“There was no going back, but we knew that the last few days would be lovely,” said Michelle, who also benefitted from the support of the charity’s counselling team.

“It was a massive loss to me when she died. I had counselling for five months.

“It was priceless to have someone to sit and talk to and make you feel you are being listened to. The hospice became a home from home.”

The 10km Star Walk kicks off at 9pm on July 8, from Romford’s Market Place. Entry is £12 for adults and £8 for under-16s. Call 01708 771427 or visit sfh.org.uk for more information.

Latest Romford News Stories

Yesterday, 16:25

Police have been stood down after evacuating parts of Romford town centre earlier when a “suspicious package” was found in South Street.

Yesterday, 15:01

A two-year-old child who went missing from a library was found safe thanks to the efforts of staff, customers and the police.

Yesterday, 12:30

A woman has become the first homeowner in the UK to sell their property following a live-streaming viewing on Facebook Live.

Yesterday, 10:35

A new season of Comedy and Curry opens at Queen’s Theatre this week.

Yesterday, 09:00

A mental health service helping Havering’s vulnerable youngsters is one of just three healthcare schemes shortlisted for a national award celebrating its compassion and ambition.

Yesterday, 07:00

Havering’s youngsters have the chance to ignite their own potential by signing up to this year’s fire cadet course.

Mon, 17:15

An allotments 100th birthday celebration grew to be a great success this weekend.

Mon, 16:00

A group helping Havering’s disabled residents celebrated its 40th anniversary in style this weekend with a fun-filled barbecue.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read news

Show Job Lists

News from your area

Competitions

Having a brand new kitchen is something that lots of people want but can only dream of. Sadly keeping up to date and making our living spaces as nice as they can be is a costly and incredibly stressful business. Even a fresh coat of paint makes all the difference but isn’t easy or quick.

Who wouldn’t love the chance to go on a shopping spree. Imagine being able to walk into a shop and choose whatever your heart desires without having to worry about how much it costs.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Romford Recorder
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now