Thousands raised in Essex firewalk to help hospice

Anne-Lise Fitzgerald Blum

Anne-Lise Fitzgerald Blum - Credit: Archant

Forty brave soles, including a pantomime dame, have helped raise more than £12,000 by conquering the coals at the St Clare Firewalk.

Jordan Smith

Jordan Smith - Credit: Archant

The hospice in Hastingwood has declared the night a blistering success. The fearless hot coal treaders, which included 10 members of hospice staff along with Rhodes Theatre panto dame Milky Mary, walked barefoot over red-hot wood embers smouldering at about 800 degrees Fahrenheit.

Among the brave were William Sadler from Takeley, Melanie Nightingale from Hatfield Broad Oak, Jordan Smith from Dunmow and Anne-Lise Fitzgerald Blum from Hatfield Heath.

Jade Clarke, challenge events fundraiser, said: “Despite it being a damp November evening, it didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits and it was great to see so many people fired up for our firewalk challenge.

“To watch people who had said earlier on that they weren’t sure they could do it take their first steps onto the coals was really inspiring. Some people even choose to walk across the fire pit twice.

Melanie Nightingale

Melanie Nightingale - Credit: Archant

“We are absolutely thrilled to have more than doubled our original £5,000 target. We are planning a second firewalk in April.”

The St Clare Firewalk was hosted by Mantle Business Centre at its Thremhall Park Business Centre, near Stansted Airport, and sponsored by RecruitAbility and Bolt and Heeks Construction.

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There are still places on the hospice’s festive fun run on Sunday, December 13.

As one of the hospice’s biggest fundraisers of the year, the charity hopes the event will raise £20,000. Sponsored by Insight Private Finance, the run will be at the Water Gardens, in Harlow. Registration is £7.50 for adults and £2.50 for children. Sign up at

Runners can also register on the day from 8.15am. The route is suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs and dogs are welcome.