Sobell House is going back to the seventies this year to mark its 40th anniversary and the 10th annual Moonlight Stroll to take place in the city centre. To celebrate both milestones the hospice is transforming Oxford into a seventies party on Saturday 16 July and everyone is welcome.
Kicking off at 10.30pm a sea of flares, jazzy prints and paisley shirts will be making its way through Oxford City Centre in a specially extended 10-mile route.
Last month, Sobell House, which is based on the Churchill hospital site, announced its four-year plan to invest £9m to grow its service. With £5m already in place an additional £4m is being sought. The multi-million pound investment will fund an expansion of hospice care throughout the county in Oxfordshire’s four main hospitals.
As part of the long term plan Sobell House is hoping this year’s Moonlight Stroll event will be its biggest to date and significantly contribute to reaching the ambitious target.
Kevin Game, a fundraiser at Sobell House who has organised all 10 Moonlight Stroll events, says:
“We’re really hoping to raise £100,000 at this year’s stroll. It’s a big one for us and we intend to celebrate it in true seventies party style. We have 1,000 places so everyone is welcome to join us and raise money all at the same time!
“For the last 40 years Sobell House has been offering care and support for patients and their families who have been affected by terminal illness. This year we pledged to raise an additional £4m in order to extend the specialist end of life care that we can offer across Oxfordshire, and this event is instrumental in achieving that.
“The Moonlight Stroll is an event suitable for everyone. Whether it’s a family of several generations, a group of work colleagues doing their bit for us or a bunch of friends walking for someone they have lost, the stroll is a wonderfully positive way to remember loved ones while also having fun and raising money.”
This year Sobell House is urging the people of Oxfordshire to take part whether it’s walking the 10 miles or volunteering on the night as a marshal to direct and encourage the walkers throughout the course of the walk.
Caroline O’Connor, 41, from Didcot has taken part in the Moonlight Stroll with her family since 2012 after her husband passed away at Sobell House in June of the same year.
“My family, friends, colleagues and I take part in the Moonlight Stroll every year. It is very much a team event for us now, George was loved by so many and they know the difference Sobell House made to us as a family. George wanted us to live our lives, so we all come together and take part in this fun event as we feel it fits his legacy and is a great way of raising money for Sobell House.
“It is without question that the care and compassion that we received from Sobell House during the toughest time of our lives enabled us to get through what we had to face. At the time our children were 5, 9 and 12 years old and each one of them dealt with George’s illness in different ways. The support of Sobell House helped us to understand that, helped us cope and made the experience as comfortable as it could be. The children and I, my mum and George’s mum, were allowed to stay with George every single second of his stay. The team made the hospice a home from home environment. We slept there, we ate there, we watched films and we cried there and I feel happy knowing that George was comfortable there.
“I would urge everyone to help Sobell House reach its target of £4m over the next four years. We are so lucky to have this service on our doorstep and with our support and commitment the hospice can continue to deliver the much-needed end of life care we need and extend it even further. If everyone pledged to raise £100 for this year’s Moonlight Stroll we could raise £100,000 for them – let’s do it!”