Burntwood sisters sign up for St Giles Hospice fundraiser

Annette Fisher, Emma Bray, Tracy Taylor, Pat Sorrell, Betty Grace, Vanessa Bayliss, Suzanne Steele, Lesley Bay and Janet Titheradge

Annette Fisher, Emma Bray, Tracy Taylor, Pat Sorrell, Betty Grace, Vanessa Bayliss, Suzanne Steele, Lesley Bay and Janet Titheradge

Three sisters from Burntwood whose father died from cancer are preparing to take part in one of the biggest events to take place in the region – and are urging the local community to get behind the Solstice Walk for St Giles Hospice.

Suzanne Steele (42) and sisters, Annette Fisher (44) and Alison Fletcher (40), will be walking the nine-mile course through Lichfield with their mum and more than a dozen friends, and call themselves The Rainbow Fairies.

Their aim is to raise as much money and awareness as possible for the charity which cared for their father, Derek Grace, before his death in May 2003.

Suzanne said:

“Dad was diagnosed with mesothelioma of his stomach – a form of asbestosis – at Christmastime in 2002. He stayed at St Giles Hospice twice during his illness, and towards the end of his life we had the great fortune of receiving the support of the charity’s Hospice at Home service, because it was dad’s wish to die at home, not in hospital.

“St Giles was absolutely brilliant to us, helping dad have the strength to walk me up the aisle on my wedding day just three weeks before he died, and staying with us throughout when that day came. Without them we would not have got through it.

“As a family we decided to take part in the Solstice Walk to give some support back to St Giles, and since we signed up many of our friends have also joined us, and now we’re a team of 17!” 

With more than 1,000 women already signed up, this year’s Solstice Walk is already shaping up to be the biggest single fundraising event in the hospice’s 25 year history when it takes place on the night of June 20.

The Rainbow Fairies, like many of this year’s participants including special guest BBC Radio WM presenter Joanne Malin, are dressing up for the event in bright, outlandish fairy outfits, and wearing special t-shirts bearing their team name. 

Places are still available for this year’s event which is expected to involve 2,000 women and last year raised more than £100,000. All proceeds are spent on St Giles’ services caring for local people living with cancer and other serious illnesses.

Entry is £14 per walker, which includes a Solstice Walk sponsorship pack and a map of the nine-mile route around Lichfield . To register contact the Fundraising Office on 01543 432538, email sarah.shelton@st-giles-hospice.org.uk , or visit www.stgileshospice.com/solsticewalk.

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