The current physical distancing requirements set down by the Government and the HSE has prompted management at Milford Care Centre to consider how it could host its annual Memorial Walk, an event so much appreciated by people throughout the Mid-West who, each year, do the walk in memory of their loved ones.
This year, Milford Care Centre are asking the public to complete the walk from a distance, in their own locality and in their own time, by doing 1km a day for 5 days, between Sunday, 3rd and Thursday, 7th May, and to pledge the usual entry fee of €20 per family for doing so. Entry is via the Milford Hospice website www.milfordcarecentre.ie.
Explaining the rationale for the ‘Walk from a Distance’ concept, Milford Care Centre Chief Executive Pat Quinlan said: “The annual Memorial Walk, which normally sees a tremendous response from our supporters who walk the 5km in solidarity around the University of Limerick campus has become a very symbolic way of remembering our loved ones.
“We did not want to let the COVID-19 pandemic deny anyone the opportunity of doing the walk and that’s why we have decided to ask people to do it in their own space and time. While we may not be able to walk collectively, we can do so in spirit by doing the walk on our own or with members of our households, carrying the memories with us. We will hold a special blessing ceremony on Friday, 8th May, which will be streamed live on our social media and will give all participants in the walk to virtually link up in solidarity to remember their bereaved. This blessing ceremony will also serve to bring people together until we can arrange the annual ecumenical service we usually hold in Milford Church, which we have to postpone until some future date when some form of post-pandemic normality returns.
“Like everyone else, we have had to adjust our normal way of operating to avoid the spread of the virus. It’s a trying time for everyone, especially here in Milford and I cannot thank all of the staff enough for their trojan commitment to caring for our patients and doing everything within their power to maintain a safe and healthy environment,” stated Mr Quinlan when outlining the arrangements that have been put in place for the Milford Hospice ‘From a Distance’ Memorial Walk.
- Register online at www.milfordcarecentre.ie, giving the name(s) of those you are walking in memory of.
- The staff at Milford Care Centre will write the names(s) submitted on individual memorial ribbons to ensure that the carrying a ribbon element of the walk is maintained.
- The ribbons will be placed on the memorial tree in the grounds of Milford Care Centre daily from 3rd – 7th May and images of same will be posted on social media. It is also nice to learn that the tribute ribbons will later in the year be placed under the Centre’s Christmas Tree in the Milford Care Centre Chapel.
- A special blessing ceremony will take place at the tree on Friday, 8th May at 12noon (participants will be advised of any change to the time if necessitated due to inclement weather). This blessing with be streamed live on social media so that families throughout the Mid-West can join together in solidarity to remember their bereaved.
“Each year Milford must raise in excess of €2m through its fundraising activities in order to be able to maintain its services. Clearly the rapid onset of COVID-19 will severely impact our fundraising capacity but, nonetheless, we remain committed to continue to deliver the best services that we can and to support patients and families throughout Clare, Limerick and North Tipperary in these difficult and unprecedented times. In this context, we need the public’s support now more than ever so we are appealing for their support by participating in the ‘Walk from a Distance’ event with us,” added Mr Quinlan.