Katharine House Hospice’s annual major fundraising event is back for 2021. The community walking challenge of six or ten miles in and around Banbury has been given a makeover. This year you can enjoy walking during the afternoon and early evening on Saturday 17 July - it’s NOT the Midnight Walk!

Get your glad rags on and step into your walking shoes with family and friends to help raise much-needed funds for Katharine House, which has a £3million fundraising target to reach this year. Every penny goes towards running the hospice’s services to ensure people with life-limiting conditions continue to receive the wonderful care that they and their family and friends receive from Katharine House.

Helen Lerwill, the event’s organiser, said: ‘We are so excited to be running our main fundraising event once again. We’re back at Banbury Rugby Club where we can create a wonderful party atmosphere before and after the walk - AND have the space to ensure all our supporters remain safe while they have fun. We’re anticipating 300 people setting off from the club over the space of four hours with additional supporters enjoying themselves walking six or ten miles wherever they choose.’

Ronnie Langdon-Gray, a volunteer receptionist and ward clerk at Katharine House said: ‘I have entered all but one of the Katharine House Midnight Walks, firstly on my own but then coerced my daughter to join me, who in turn joined in a friend with recently diagnosed multiple sclerosis, as walking seems to help her. Over the many years I have supported Katharine House, I have lost several friends, who have received the warm, calm care provided by the hospice in their last days, so raising funds for the hospice is important to me.

‘A few years ago the walk moved to an earlier starting time and since then four of my grandchildren have joined me. Last year they walked 6 miles in fancy dress at Waddesdon. This year, we’ll all sign up again and will do the walk at Stowe - and maybe even take on the 10-mile challenge!’

Last year, the Midnight Walk had to turn into a virtual event because of the pandemic, which meant that everyone could take on the challenge wherever they pleased. This year, the event is returning to its old base of Banbury Rugby Club, although walkers can also devise a walk of their own in their local area, if they prefer.

Ronnie continued: ‘The children especially enjoy wearing fancy dress and after the walk last year we went out to get burgers and, because of their fancy dress and the Katharine House numbers, they managed to raise another £30 from other customers. It helped spread the charity's work too!

But it doesn't really matter what you wear - just stepping out for such a good cause is reward enough. So come on, sign up for this year’s NOT the Midnight Walk, walking with your family, friends and children in the main organised challenge from Banbury, or choose your own route. Either way, make it a fun occasion and raise money for Katharine House!’

Find out more about the Not the Midnight Walk and how to sign up.