Walk for Wards 2016

A perfect day in the beautiful setting of Cirencester Park saw over 150 walkers supporting their local hospitals at the 2016 Walk for Wards, organised by Cheltenham and Gloucester Hospitals Charity.

Walkers were able to choose which ward or area of the hospitals to support, with their sponsorship and donations going directly to that area to provide extra care and equipment over and above the NHS.

The event was hosted by Countess Bathurst, who cut the ribbon to officially start the race before leading the walkers out into Cirencester Park. The historic estate was full of seasonal colour and music to inspire walkers was provided by local musicians the Metz Big Band who supported the event.


Local racing hero Robert ‘Choc’ Thornton joined the crowd of supporters, walking to raise money for the A&E team who treated him so many times during a career as a jockey which saw him triumph in over 1,000 races.

Robert was a frequent visitor to Cheltenham Hospital having sustained many falls and injuries while one of the UK’s leading National Hunt jockeys, and wanted to give something back to the A&E department who helped him so often.

Robert Thornton:  “When I heard about Walk for Wards I really wanted to get behind it and support the Gloucestershire Hospitals.  It’s amazing to be able to support the ward of your choice and to know exactly where your fundraising will help.  Cheltenham A&E have been fantastic to me on so many occasions and I just wanted to say ‘thank you”.

Many of the people who took part in the walk had a personal reason for supporting their local hospitals, walking or running a 10Km or shorter 3Km route to say thank you for the care that they or family members have received. They were joined by staff from across the hospitals, and local companies including Sainsburys, Colour Connection and myFace who supported the event.

Richard Smith, Head of Fundraising:  “We have had an incredible Walk for Wards, with perfect weather and a great atmosphere. It was amazing to see so many families, patients, hospital staff and supporters coming together at the event.

The funds raised today will make a direct impact on the lives of local patients and their families by funding extra care and specialist equipment over and above that provided by the NHS.

We really are grateful to all of our walkers, volunteers and the Bathurst estate for their kind support of this event.”