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Supporting Friends of Palliative Care

On the weekend some of our Hunter Team headed to Walka Water Works to support local organisation Friends of Palliative Care in running their annual walkathon and fun run.

Friends of Palliative Care is a not for profit organisation which was formed in 1986 and has been actively involved in lobbying for the establishment of a Palliative Care Nursing and Medical Service in the Maitland area.

The main aim of the organisation is to create an awareness of the Palliative Care Services available to meet the needs of the terminally ill person and their families/carers and to assist and support the providers of Palliative Care Services within the Lower Hunter.

Through fundraising the organisation assists organisations that are providing integrated Palliative Care Services within the Lower Hunter, to meet the needs of the terminally ill person and their families.

Four Hunter team members volunteered early Sunday morning and helped to register hundreds of participants in the event. It was so wonderful to see so many bright smiling faces and all of the people were patient with us as we tried to get our fingers working on the pens in the cold and while we chased paperwork blowing away in the wind.

We had the pleasure of seeing around 350 people participate in the event – most were there to honour loved ones lost too soon while others were local park runners who were there to simply enjoy an early morning run.

I was totally in awe of the young people who took part in the event and I must say that it was incredible to see that it was many of the younger runners were the people winning prizes at the trophy presentation.

At the end of the event, a memorial service was held to remember and celebrate the lives of those lost. In previous years the organisation has held a balloon release however they reassessed the environmental impact this may be having and decided to reduce their carbon footprint by holding a candle ceremony and by filling the air with thousands of bubbles. This also meant that participants involved in the event were able to take home a glass votive and candle to burn at home.

City of Maitland Pipes and Drums performed ‘Amazing Grace’ before the entire group stopped for a minutes silence to remember and reflect. It was incredibly moving and it was obvious to see the wonderful community spirit that is present in the Hunter as strangers shared hugs and offered to support each other.

There were so many volunteers helping out on the day from the SES who was there ready with a ute for those who could not make the distance to St Johns Ambulance who thankfully did not need to treat any injuries.  Our local rotary club was busy cooking up a storm and volunteers from Father Riley’s Op Shops were there selling crocheted goods.

The organisation raised over $14,000 as a result of the event! The event is held annually and it was lovely that Beyond Bank was able to be involved again this year.