ALMOST 130 people took part in the ‘Waterways Walk’ a 21 mile journey from Droitwich Spa to Diglis in aid of St Richard’s Hospice.

The circular route began at Droitwich Spa Marina, continued along the restored Droitwich Canal and River Severn to Diglis in Worcester and then returned beside the Worcester and Birmingham Canal.

Around the same amount took part a shorter 11 mile version route which finished in Worcester.

The independent charity, which provides free specialist care for people living with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses and supports their families, hopes to raise £19,000 through the event.

Alison Parkes, senior fundraiser at St Richard’s Hospice, said: “it was a great day with all our walkers in good spirits despite the occasional rain shower.

“We really appreciate the efforts of everyone who took part and the money they raised will help St Richard’s make a difference to the quality of life of our patients and families.”

Finishing, the 21-mile walk, first Firefighter Peter Doran, 49, from Droitwich who wore his uniform for the challenge.

He was inspired to support the charity by a close friend, Elaine Tesho, from Droitwich who cares for her sister Lisa and arranges fundraising events for the hospice.

Mo and Andy Usowicz from Bewdley took part in the 11 mile route in memory of their daughter Nikki who, in her final days, was cared for by St Richard’s.

Mrs Usowicz said: “St Richard's Hospice holds a special place in our hearts. Nikki, our daughter, had breast cancer that had spread to her liver and bones.

“But Nikki wasn't going to give up without a fight; she had two teenage daughters and a gorgeous granddaughter and decided to cram as much as she could into her life.

“Nikki took part in three sponsored walks even though she was suffering from pain in her legs. She bought a Mini convertible, went to the British Grand Prix, up in a hot air balloon and saw Rihanna in concert amongst other things.

“She always made sure she spent as much time with her family as she could. This was very important to her. Nikki was an inspiration to all who knew her.”

“She was looked after so well at the hospice, and passed away in September 2012 aged 40.

“We wanted to raise money for St Richard's in memory of Nikki and to enable the hospice to continue helping others with life-threatening illnesses. Everyone at the hospice does a wonderful job.

“I want to repay the hospice for everything they did for Nikki, and for everything they do for other patients and their families.

“They rely on donations and it was Nikki's wish that we raised money to help St Richard's Hospice.”

The walks, which are sponsored by the Droitwich Spa Marina, took place on Sunday, August 17.

Yearly, the hospice team supports more than 2,500 patients and family members in Worcestershire.

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