TWO long lost friends who live more than 400 miles apart are gearing up to take on the Girls Night Out walk in aid of St Nicholas Hospice Care.
Until recently Cheryl Owen, from Bury St Edmunds, who helps out with arts and crafts at the hospice’s Orchard Day Centre, hadn’t seen schoolfriend Gina Deen for 20 years.
It was not until Gina, who lives in County Clare, in Ireland, discovered her son and daughter-in-law were living just a few miles away from Cheryl that they were reunited.
And when Cheryl sent out a Facebook request to find more people to sign up for the 11-mile charity walk through Bury, Gina realised her daughter was also signed up, so decided to take part herself.
Cheryl said: “I can’t wait to see Gina and to walk the streets of Bury for the hospice.
“Through volunteering at the hospice I have seen first-hand what a great cause it is.
“Being creative is a wonderful way for patients to focus their mind on something other that their treatment.
“It is nice for them to be able to achieve something and take some art work home with them.”
Cheryl has managed to raise more than £800 in sponsorship towards her target of £1,000.
More than 600 women have already signed up for the third annual Girl’s Night Out event on September 17.
Dressed in pyjamas and bunny ears they will trek either an 11.2 mile or six mile walk through the town.
This year, after listening to feedback from previous events, stewards will be armed with a box of plasters to hand out to help with blisters.
Jenny Baskett, hospice events and challengers fund-raiser, said preparation is everything when organising an event like this.
She said: “It is the women doing the walk who can tell us how to improve it.
“Giving stewards plasters is a good example of how we have acted on the feedback we were given last year.”
Jenny says the only thing left to chance is the weather.
She said: “If it rains people will have to grin and bear it, because nothing is going to dampen the spirits of the Girls Night Out.”
For more information about Girl’s Night Out and to sign up for the walk, contact Jenny Baskett on 01284 715 583 or email firstname.lastname@example.org