CROWDS of men joined together at Dorothy House Hospice in Winsley to take part in this year’s Bath Men’s Walk to raise money in memory of close ones they have lost.


Over 540 men headed off from the hospice near Bradford on Avon on at midday on Saturday (March 18) in aid of the charity and the Bath Rugby Foundation. The eight-mile walk, now in its fifth year, saw the walkers travel along the canal path from Winsley to Bath where they then had the chance to relax with a pint and watch the Six Nations final.


John Boyce, 56, of Bradford on Avon, walked in a group of 13 in memory of their friend Mick Nevin who died just two weeks before the walk.


“My friend Mick was given the all clear a year or so ago, so he decided to do his bit for Dorothy House by leading a team on the previous walk. Sadly in November he succumbed to a secondary cancer and died two weeks before the event. We called ourselves Mick’s Motley Mob and decided to walk it in his honour,” Mr Boyce said.


“Mick was a quietly spoken but larger than life character, very much part of the local community. He will be missed by his friends and family. So far between us it looks like we will have raised £3,000 but we keep on taking more so hopefully it will be more like £4,000.”


So far, this year’s walk is looking to exceed last year’s fundraising total of £45,000 and with the crowd getting bigger every year, there is hope the walk will continue to be a success.


Emily Knight, Event Fundraiser at Dorothy House Hospice Care said: "The Bath Men’s Walk was a brilliant success with a great atmosphere from the start. The funds raised by the Walk will help Dorothy House continue to give our patients, their families and carers the specialist palliative and end of life care they need.


"We also had the Devizes Rotary Club come along in the morning to make bacon butties for everyone and all of the money they made they gave straight to Dorothy House which was lovely."


Kevin Down, Gill’s Boys’ team leader at the Bath Men’s Walk and husband of Gill Down who was recently cared for by Dorothy House, said: “I took part in the Walk in memory of my wife and to give something back to Dorothy House, all their staff are amazing and we couldn’t have wanted for better care for Gill. I hope that, as well as giving us a storming day of walking, chatting and rugby, the funds raised by the Bath Men’s Walk will help the Hospice continue to support families through a difficult time in their lives.”