The top fundraiser from last year's Starlight Strut, Tania Sanders, has donated her prize back to Treetops Day Care raffle.

Tania, from Allestree, took part in the Starlight Strut in 2017 with her friend Janice Wood and raised over £1,210 in sponsorship for the event. She won an overnight stay and dinner donated by Morley Hayes Hotel in Morley, Derbyshire– but wanted someone else to win and enjoy the prize as she explained:

“Because of having people who’ve had cancer and both being carers for people ourselves, and knowing how the hospice nurses start their caring at ten o’clock – the significance of all that – it really hit me. The hospice movement is close to my heart.

I’d encourage anybody to take part

“We loved every minute of the night. It was brilliantly organised – there were lots of marshals placed along the route making sure we were going the right way. The buzz and atmosphere was lovely and we made friends with people we’d never met before. The refreshments half way round spurred us on too. The reaction of people we passed on the walk was wonderful and the crowds just sweep you along. I’d encourage anybody to take part.”

It’s a cause that’s dear to my heart

And how did Tania raise such an incredible amount?

“I pestered in a nice way! I explained to friends, former work colleagues, people from church what I was doing and why. People wanted to be included and help and realised that Treetops and caring for terminally-ill people is of vital importance.

“There should be more hospices – I don’t think we’ve got enough. It’s a cause that’s dear to my heart and when I explained this, people wanted to support me. Not by taking part, but by sponsoring us.

“Using the Just Giving page is a wonderful idea as you haven’t got to handle the money or collect it. All you’ve got to do is send lots of emails out to people with the link and it just happens.

“The fact that you can personalise the page and people can leave messages of support, I think that’s wonderful as well.”

Tania has donated her prize back to the hospice:

“When I was a carer, what was important was to create good memories, happy memories with the person who was terminally ill. We knew there was a finite amount of time and to have a little break when that person was feeling well enough to be able to enjoy it, creates memories that no-one can take away from you. And that was so, so important. And I’d like somebody else to be able to benefit from that too.”

A tremendous gesture

Andrew Allsop, managing director of Morley Hayes, said:

“Morley Hayes is proud to support Treetops Hospice Care, which does such great work in our local communities.

“As well as making Treetops the recipients of last year’s fundraising campaign, we were happy to donate an overnight stay in the Morley Hayes hotel to the fundraiser who raised the most money from the recent Midnight Walk.

“To hear that Tania has asked for the hotel stay to be given back to Treetops to be used in a prize draw is a tremendous gesture and I hope the lucky winner enjoys their stay with us.

“We will continue to support Treetops in any way we can.”

This year’s Starlight Strut is on Friday 29 June and registration is now open. An early bird discount offer is available until Saturday 31 March.