Hospitals charity ELHT&Me announces new date for Big NHS Walk

The official charity of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust has postponed its first post-pandemic fundraising event to September.

ELHT&Me's eight-mile challenge was due to take place on Sunday, July 4th, but will now see walkers stepping out on Sunday, September 26th, in light of recent government guidance.

NHS staff and members of the public will join forces to raise much-needed funds for the charity, which supports hospitals in Blackburn, Burnley, Pendle, Clitheroe and Accrington.

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All walkers who have already signed up to the event have been contacted about the date change this week.

ELHT&Me's Big NHS Walk will now take place on Sunday, September 26th.ELHT&Me's Big NHS Walk will now take place on Sunday, September 26th.
ELHT&Me's Big NHS Walk will now take place on Sunday, September 26th.

Anyone who cannot make the new date will not have to miss out as the charity has launched a virtual walk, starting from this weekend and running until the event. Virtual walkers, who can be any age, can complete eight miles at their own pace anywhere they like, in one go or spread out over different dates.

Organisers last week announced a month-long extension of the early bird price of £20 per walker. They now hope the postponed date will result in a surge in entries, with people pledging to put their best feet forward on the route.

Emma Heinicke, ELHT&Me community fundraiser, said: “We’ve taken the decision to change the date of The Big NHS Walk to September following the government announcement on Monday. We understand there may be some disappointment but we hope even more people will be encouraged to put on their trainers and join us on the day, following in the footsteps of the hundreds of people who took on our 2019 route.

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“We’ve all been walking more during the pandemic and enjoying the physical and mental wellbeing benefits of getting out into the fresh air, whether alone or as part of a group. With us now having the summer months to prepare, what better way to get out and support your local hospitals – so get the new date in your diary.”

All finishers receive a stunning, limited edition medal and a traditional afternoon tea to celebrate their achievement.

The route sets off from Royal Blackburn’s Park View offices with the charity’s mascot Elmore directing walkers to ‘ready, teddy, go’ at 10.30am. The route, which will be marshalled thanks to East Ribble District Freemasons, reaches Belthorn for a welcomed hydration stop at the Dog Inn. The next part of the walk incorporates some of the Belthorn Heritage Trail before heading out into the open countryside again, providing spectacular views, before heading back.

Everyone is encouraged to wear something blue to take part and show their support to the NHS. Dogs are welcome on the walk and can even help raise funds by collecting sponsorship too.

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Visit to take part in the walk. Entry is currently at the early bird price of £20 for the in-person walk and £10 for the virtual event.

Ahead of the walk, ELHT&Me is hoping supporters will take part in the NHS Big Tea on July 5th by holding an in-person or virtual tea break. People can host their own event or they can show their support by taking five minutes to enjoy a tea break, texting NHS5 to 70085 to gift £5 to support your NHS charity and tagging five friends on social media, and calling on them to do the same.

For a Big NHS Tea fundraising pack, visit