Drama society team up for Twilight Walk

Whether it’s the workplace, a social club or sports team, there’s always that one person who becomes the backbone of the group. The organiser. The dependable one.

And to the All Saints Dramatic Society in Southbourne, Val Hillier had played that part perfectly.

“Val wasn’t one of the ones on stage a lot, but she was the one who ran so many things,” says longtime friend Victoria Liechti. “Val was very much a person who lived life, who went out there and did things and made things happen.”

It was because of how valued Val was – not only as a member of the Society but as a mum, a wife and a friend – that her sudden death in February of this year from Lymphoma touched so many people so profoundly.

“It was very quick that we lost her,” explains Victoria. “People saying, ‘oh, get well soon Val!’, or, ‘hope to see you out of hospital soon!’. And then, suddenly, she’d gone. We were all very shocked.”

After falling ill, Val had been treated in Ward 11 – the Haematology & Oncology Department of the Royal Bournemouth Hospital. Victoria says Val and her loved-ones had all been especially grateful for the treatment she received while on the ward.

With Val’s generous spirit in mind, Victoria and a number of Val’s friends and family have banded together to do something that will very much honour her memory – participate in Bournemouth Hospital Charity’s Twilight Walk for Women.

“There’s a group of five of us who’ve often done charity walks before and three of us took part in Twilight Walk for Women in 2015,” says Victoria.

“This year, we decided to do a local walk for a local charity that was happy for us to raise as much as we could give. Rachel from our charity group emailed everybody in the drama group and said ‘why don’t we all do the Twilight Walk for Women for Val?’.

“She had been very supportive of me and had told me to go out and live my life, do as much as I could and take advantage of every single day – so us walking in Twilight together felt like we would be doing something for her.”

Victoria will be joined by Val’s husband Chris, as well as Rachel, Rosie, Phil, Andrea, Theresa, Danielle, Sue, Yvette, Hayley, Mike, Ella, Simon and children Elan and Finn, all from the Society, to take part in this year’s Twilight Walk for Women on the evening of Friday 19 May.

The annual walk is Bournemouth Hospital Charity’s flagship event to raise money for women’s health treatment at the Royal Bournemouth & Christchurch Hospitals.

It is hoped that this year’s Walk will support the purchase of new equipment, including an ultrasound scanner to help our consultants detect cancerous cells in the womb as well as a HCG analyser to help identify potential life-threatening pregnancies occurring outside of the womb.

The event is open to all ages and abilities with men and boys encouraged to join along too. Hundreds of people have already signed up for the event on BHCharity.org and will amass on the Bournemouth Pier Approach on May 19.

While many of the participants will dazzle in their pink Twilight t-shirts, the ‘For Our Val’ team may well stand out from the crowd this year…

“Val’s favourite colour was blue and for her funeral, Val’s family asked that everyone wear something blue,” Victoria explains. “So we’ll all be wearing something blue on the night – whether that be a tutu or a tie!”

The ‘For Our Val’ team have already raised hundreds of pounds towards the cause in memory of their dear friend. Anyone wishing to donate to the team’s cause can do so at their JustGiving page.

For more information and advice on how leaving a legacy to Bournemouth Hospital Charity can help to benefit thousands of patients for years to come, visit our Legacies page.

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