Men’s Day Out – Men on the move make a massive difference for hospice care

A record breaking Men’s Day Out

Walking, talking and paying tribute to lost loved ones, big-hearted blokes of all ages strode through the streets of Plymouth on Saturday 6 April, raising funds for the specialist end of life care needed by so many local families.

A record 2,319 men put their best foot forward for Men’s Day Out, ensuring our iconic annual event’s 10th anniversary was extra special. This year’s sell-out walk is set to bring in £130,000, taking the total since its debut in 2014 to just over £1 million.

Men on the move

Mostly sporting distinctive Men’s Day Out T-shirts, with some in eye-catching fancy dress too, the men on the move covered a 12km (7.5 mile) route through the heart of the city, beginning and ending at Plymouth Albion Rugby Football Club at Devonport.

Funding our compassionate care

The funds raised from our sell out event will help St Luke’s continue its compassionate care, free of charge, for people with terminal illness in their last months, weeks and days of life, at home, at Derriford Hospital and in their specialist inpatient unit at Turnchapel.

Men walking in memory

Walking as one, Men’s Day Out participants got to share their precious memories of friends and family members who have died. They also had the chance to open up and talk frankly about the pain of losing a loved one as well as the realities of bereavement. It’s widely recognised that men often struggle to reach out for support and being together on the move provides a rare opportunity to speak freely with others who really understand. Plus, attendance from Samaritans, Andy’s Man Club and Sport in Mind ensured there were trained volunteers available to provide a listening ear for anyone struggling emotionally.

Men’s Day Out is great for having those deeper conversations

Taking part in his tenth Men’s Day Out was Dave Walters from Staddiscombe, walking in memory of two much-loved family members. He said: “I join in every year because St Luke’s is a charity very close to my heart. They looked after my mum Connie at home before she died 18 years ago, and my sister Ros was cared for at Turnchapel before she passed away in 2014. As a family, we miss them so much, but it’s very comforting knowing they both received such superb care.”

Fellow walker Rich Lavers, who lives in Plympton, was participating in tribute to his wife Kate’s best friend Teresa, who was looked after by St Luke’s before sadly, she died seven years ago. He said: “Teresa was a fantastic lady, a really lovely person. When she needed end of life care at Turnchapel, St Luke’s made sure she was really well looked after. But not just that, they were there for all her family, too.

“Terminal illness touches so many lives, but as men we’re not always so ready to open up about our feelings around death and dying. Men’s Day Out is great for having those deeper conversations. It takes the tension away and the walls come down.”

My way of saying thank you to St Luke’s

Also enjoying the camaraderie of the day was Sean Cornish of Mannadon. He said: “Along with my mates, I signed up for Men’s Day Out straight away because I know how important the hospice is to the city. Doing the walk is my way of saying thank-you to St Luke’s team at Derriford for taking such great care of my mum Maureen in hospital before she died in 2022.

“It’s only fitting that she received their kindness because she was such a caring person herself, always thinking of others and dedicated to her work helping adults who have learning disabilities.”

Thank you

Penny Hannah, St Luke’s Head of Fundraising, hailed the tenth-anniversary a huge success. She said: “From 574 guys walking at our first Men’s Day Out in 2014 to a record 2,319 taking part this year, our much-loved event has grown into the biggest of its kind in the South West, possibly even the UK. Most importantly, hundreds upon hundreds of local families have benefited from the specialist care St Luke’s provides, thanks to the sponsorship money raised by our big-hearted walkers. A huge thank you to all our participants over the years, including everyone who joined us this time. You have done your community proud!

“I also want to thank our generous sponsors JEM Scaffolding Ltd, Plymouth Albion RFC, Salcombe Brewery and Sir Fix a Lock Ltd, and pay tribute to the army of support teams and volunteers who kindly give their time to make sure Men’s Day Out runs smoothly.

“As a hospice, we are so fortunate to have such a supportive community behind us. We couldn’t be more grateful for your kindness that means more people with terminal illness can make the most of every precious day with the people who matter most to them. Thank you so much.”

Paying in your sponsorship

We encourage you to pay in your sponsorship money as promptly as possible, either online here or at your nearest St Luke’s charity shop. The faster you do this, the quicker patients and their families will benefit and you raise over £100 you can also be in with a chance of winning exclusive prizes courtesy of Salcombe Brewery and Plymouth Albion RFC.

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