Brave step: patients will walk for Havering hospice

�A team of patients receiving care from St Francis Hospice have helped launch the charity’s women’s midnight walk – and pledged to take part.

Six women who attend the day hospice and have a range of illnesses including lung cancer and motor neurone disease have formed the Day Hospice Dollies.

They will be supported by family members to complete the 10km walk.

The patients decided to join the Star Trek Women’s Midnight Walk, taking place in Romford on Saturday, July 2, to give something back to the Havering-based hospice so more people who need its specialist care can receive it.

Among the team is Jean Clark, 59, from Harold Park. She has motor neurone disease and has been attending the day hospice since February last year.

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She said: “I’m taking part because the hospice is just fantastic. You could not ask for better care. It’s helping me cope with how my life is changing.

“The staff are a real support to me and my family.”

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The day hospice cares for up to 17 people living with a life-limiting illness a day and patients have full access to the hospice’s medical care including physiotherapy, complementary therapy, counselling and doctors or nurses.

They can do activities such as crafts, enjoy a three-course meal and need not worry about transport as it is provided by volunteers.

Another team member, Ellen Myers, 63, from Cranham, has lung cancer. She said she was nervous on her first day but quickly realised the hospice was a place where she could relax.

Ellen explained: “I appreciate my weekly visit as I can sit and reflect, have massages and a laugh and talk to the other patients. With the support of staff and volunteers I’ve come to terms with my illness.”

Event organiser Elizabeth Palfreman said: “To enable women like Jean and Ellen to attend the day hospice it costs �305 per person per visit.

“Your support at the Star Trek walk would help ensure the hospice can continue making a difference to these ladies and many more patients.

“We are hoping to top last year’s success of nearly 700 women, who raised an incredible �83,000.”

The walk starts and finishes at the Liberty shopping centre in Romford.

Entry is �15 per person.

To sign up or volunteer to help on the night, call the fundraising team on 01708 771427, email or visit

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