A hospice is challenging Brummies to walk 40 miles this March, to help protect vital services for local people living with a life-limiting illness.

Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice’s ’40 Mile March’ is a new walking challenge, which will see participants walk a total of 40 miles throughout the month of March.

Walkers can choose when and how they notch up their distance – whether it’s taking on one mile every day at the gym or going for a 10-mile walk at the weekend. The challenge can be completed solo or can be done with family, friends and colleagues.

For the past 12 months, Birmingham St Mary’s has been celebrating its 40th anniversary, and this new walking event aims to unite people to help sustain its crucial services for the next four decades.

Lucy Watkins, income generation director at Birmingham St Mary’s, said: “Walking is a great way to get fit, boost your wellbeing and explore new places across our city – so if you’re looking for a new fitness challenge or simply want to get out-and-about more, this event is perfect for you.

“With the 40 Mile March, we want local people to come together and unite for hospice care, helping to raise much-needed funds and awareness for our services.”

Last year, Birmingham St Mary’s cared for and supported over 1,700 individuals who are living with life-limiting illness across Birmingham and Sandwell – the highest number of people it has helped in a single year since it first opened. Although the Hospice is supporting more people than ever, the funding it receives from the NHS has not kept up with this demand. We now need to raise £9 million this year, and well over half of that amount must come through voluntary donations.

Lucy added: “As more people are living longer and with more complex illnesses, the need for hospice care is only going to increase. There’s still many more people and their loved ones in our area who could benefit from hospice support. Taking part in the 40 Mile March is really simple but its impact could be huge, as every pound raised will go towards caring for and supporting more people when they need it most.”

Every marcher will be invited to complete their final mile at ‘Spring Fair’ – an event taking place on Sunday 29 March at the Hospice in Selly Park. Walkers will be able to unite with others and march together to help raise awareness of hospice care.

The Spring Fair is a family-friendly event which is open to all – including non-marchers – and attendees will be able to enjoy face painting, arts & crafts, food vendors, and stalls selling one-of-a-kind gifts.

Registration for the Hospice’s ’40 Mile March’ costs £5 and every sign-up will receive a free Birmingham St Mary’s t-shirt. The Spring Fair is free to attend.

To find out more or to sign up, visit: www.birminghamhospice.org.uk/unite

This article first appeared on www.birminghamupdates.com.

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