Green light to Walk the Wight with Mountbatten The countdown for Walk the Wight 2019 has begun as Mountbatten officially opens registrations on Friday 25 January 2019 for the iconic fundraiser. Organisers are hoping thousands of people will be inspired to take on the challenge, on Sunday 12 May 2019, raising funds to help ensure no-one is left to die alone or in pain on the Isle of Wight. On any one day, Mountbatten is caring for 1000 people – double the number at the same time last year – and, with numbers expected to increase further, the fundraising efforts of the Island community become ever more vital to ensuring the charity’s future. Walk the Wight brings our community together to show that we care about how people experience death and dying. People of all ages and abilities take part and, with a choice of four routes and free bus travel to and from every walk, it’s easy for everyone to get involved and support Islanders and their families. Among the families to have been supported through the experience of death, dying and bereavement is Perdita Dusgate, of Northwood, and her son Michael (right), who is one of five people to feature in a publicity campaign, which tells the story of their own personal reasons for taking part in Walk the Wight 2019. Perdita said: “We have a very strong connection to Mountbatten as it has taken care of all of us. My husband David was diagnosed with a grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme when our son was only one - we were told we would be lucky if we had another year together. He was an amazing man, a real gentleman and determined to take our son to school on his first day. Sadly, that was not to be, but he was able to take him to his first day of preschool. “Along the way Mountbatten were with us and supported us all, giving David the respite days he needed, physiotherapy and most of all someone to talk to, not only the wonderful staff (or friends as a lot of them now are) but others with life limiting illness. During his final weeks the hospice became our second home; you would not expect laughter, but it came in abundance. At the worst time of my life the Mountbatten staff gave not only my husband but our family more care and support than I could have imagined. Following his death, both my son and I continued to go to Mountbatten for counselling and support. To this day I cannot thank the wonderful people of Mountbatten enough for everything they have done for me and my family and by walking the Wight we can help to raise funds to know that they can continue to care for many more in the future.” Anyone wishing to take part in this year’s Walk the Wight with Mountbatten can sign-up online. Due to recent changes in GDPR, participants are no longer able to sign-up in Mountbatten’s shops, however anyone who does not have an email address or access to the internet can call the Fundraising Team for help and support on (01983) 217300. Nigel Hartley, CEO, said: “Without Mountbatten’s services, there would be very limited choices about how and where people on the Island are supported and cared for when they come to the end of life or are bereaved – many more would die on their own, without a Mountbatten expert in end of life care at their side, and many would be left alone with their bereavement, being left to cope with their feelings and emotions once someone has died, without the support of professional counsellors. The number of people we support has increased by 50% in the last year and even more Islanders will need our support in the future. “If you want Mountbatten to be there for you and your family in the future, we urge you to take part in Walk the Wight or find out about the many other ways you can support us. Thank you to everyone who continues to give something back, in whatever way they can, to our Island community,” he concluded.