South Yorkshire charity walk which raised £100, 000 comes to an end

Walkers at a previous Rush to Walk event.
Walkers at a previous Rush to Walk event.

A sponsored walk that has raised more than £100, 000 for charity over the last decade has been cancelled as organisers are ‘struggling’ to get people to take part.

The annual Rush to Walk event is usually held over the May Day Bank Holiday Weekend and regularly attracted hundreds of walkers for a stroll around the grounds of the Wentworth Woodhouse stalely home near Rotherham.

Rush to Walk charity event in North Anston.  Event organisers Gillian Headon and Natalie Rush  (w110509-4c)

Rush to Walk charity event in North Anston. Event organisers Gillian Headon and Natalie Rush (w110509-4c)

The event was first launched in 2006 by Mexborough hairdresser Gillian Headon in memory of her nurse pal Sandra Rush, of Conisbrough, who died of breast cancer in 2002 aged 44.

Gillian’s other friends Lynn Wilson, a teaching assistant from Conisbrough, and Dorothy Weir, aged 74, from Swinton, who helped to organise the event also lost their battle with cancer in recent years.

But in a post on the Rush to Walk Facebook page, organisers confirmed the event will not be going ahead this year.

Part of the statement read: “With the increasing amount of charity walks and events we are finding it a struggle every year to encourage people to join us.

“It is for this reason sadly that we will no longer be doing the walk.

“I can personally say how much this means to me and with a heavy heart that it has drawn to a close.

“We would like to personally thank everyone who has marshalled, donated, sponsored and walked with us over the past 10 years and without your kind hearts we would not have been able to raise the amount of money we have for our local charities.

“It’s been an emotional and incredible experience to be a part of and I would like to thank everyone who joined us on our journey.”

The statement added: “What we achieved from the start has been incredible. The money we raised went and built ‘Sandra’s Corner’ in memory of our dear friend Sandra Rush at Rotherham Hospital - a safe quiet place where they go to tell patients their results, it helped to fund a family room at Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice, helped towards buying a Urethorscope at Rotherham Hospital and so much more in our local community.

“When we started the walk we were just a few friends who had normal jobs but wanted to do our bit for our local community we never imagined the response we would get and the amount of money we would raise.”