Mandy Lording organised a Walk In Her Name event to honour her sister Heidi, who passed away in 2014. Mandy shares how she planned her event and why it was such a special day.
Ever since my sister Heidi died from Ovarian Cancer in April 2014, I’ve been looking to organise a fundraising event. Heidi’s fiancé, friends and other family members had raised money from holding parties, skydives and running marathons, and I wanted to make my own contribution.
I’m not a runner so organising a #WalkInHerName was ideal. Heidi was a very sociable person and this was the perfect opportunity to get most of her friends/family together and honour the person everyone loved and missed.
The route I decided upon with the help of my friend, an avid walker, was an 8 mile circular country walk (from Woburn to Eversholt), which takes you through the deer park and past Woburn Abbey. A country pub provided an ideal halfway resting point.
I wanted a route that provided a small challenge and was worthy of attracting sponsors but not so far that would prevent people from taking part. The wildlife and historic interest would make it appealing to all.
I made posters, which I used to create an event on Facebook and share with my friends, work colleagues, Heidi’s friends. My event inspired one of Heidi’s friends in Australia to organise a walk in Melbourne and this inspired another one of her friends based in Dallas to do the same. Walk in Heidi’s name had gone global and on 19 March we would be walking in her name in three continents!
Fifty people took part on the day. Although the weather was cold, it remained dry and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The walk allowed everyone to get together and share our memories of a well-loved and inspirational person, while raising awareness of ovarian cancer.
I had banners printed, which we paraded while walking, as well as selling pin badges along the way. I was overwhelmed by how generous people were.
With support from Amelia and the Ovarian Cancer Action team, organising a Walk in Her Name was easy and great fun. I felt an enormous sense of achievement afterwards. I’m already thinking about plans for next year, possibly incorporating the walk into a fun day with team games, which will enter into the spirit of the type of person Heidi was.
The walk in Heidi’s name has generated £2,150, bringing Heidi’s tribute fund to a phenomenal £9,000. A charity showcase, planned for April, should hopefully generate the £1,000 required to reach the £10k mark, representing two years of fundraising in memory of Heidi and for Ovarian Cancer Action.