ONE of the biggest annual charity walks in the Mid-West has fallen foul of the Coronavirus pandemic but organisers have come up with a novel alternative.
The physical distancing requirements imposed to curb the virus prompted management at Milford Care Centre in Limerick to consider how it could host its annual memorial walk, an event so much appreciated by people throughout the Mid-West.
This year, Milford Care Centre are asking the public to complete the walk from a distance, in their own locality and in their own time, by doing 1km a day for five days, between Sunday and Thursday, May 3 to 7, and to pledge the usual entry fee of €20 per family for doing so. Entry is via the Milford Hospice website www.milfordcarecentre.ie.
Launching the Walk from a Distance concept, Milford Care Centre chief executive Pat Quinlan said, “The annual Memorial Walk, which normally sees a tremendous response from our supporters who walk the 5km in solidarity around the University of Limerick campus has become a very symbolic way of remembering our loved ones.
“We did not want to let the Covid19 pandemic deny anyone the opportunity of doing the walk and that’s why we have decided to ask people to do it in their own space and time. While we may not be able to walk collectively, we can do so in spirit by doing the walk on our own or with members of our households, carrying the memories with us.”
Pat said there will be a special blessing ceremony on Friday, May 8, which will be streamed live on social media and will enable all participants in the walk to virtually link up in solidarity to remember their bereaved.
“This blessing ceremony serve to bring people together until we can arrange the annual ecumenical service we usually hold in Milford Church, which we have had to postpone until some future.
“Like everyone else, we have had to adjust our normal way of operating to avoid the spread of the virus. It’s a trying time for everyone, especially here in Milford and I cannot thank all of the staff enough for their trojan commitment to caring for our patients and doing everything within their power to maintain a safe and healthy environment,” stated Mr Quinlan.
Continuing, he said, “Each year Milford must raise in excess of €2m through its fundraising activities in order to be able to maintain its services. Clearly the rapid onset of Covid 19 will severely impact our fundraising capacity but, nonetheless, we remain committed to continue to deliver the best services that we can and to support patients and families throughout Clare, Limerick and North Tipperary in these difficult and unprecedented times.”