HOSPISCARE’S much-loved Men’s Walk returns to the Double Locks on Saturday, March 9, for its 13th year, raising funds for patients and families living with terminal illness across Exeter, central and east Devon.

The hospice charity’s annual fundraiser is back with all the fan-favourite elements of the event, including a seven-mile walk along Exeter’s Quayside, an Exeter Brewery pint, a Chunk of Devon pasty and England Six Nations rugby on the big screen.

At the Hospiscare Men’s Walk last year.
At the Hospiscare Men’s Walk last year. (Naomi Stolow)

Participants can also take part with “Men’s Walk: Your Way”, choosing to walk their own route in a location near them.

Hospiscare supporter, Chris Musgrave, has been taking part in Men’s Walk since his mum died in 2019.

He explains: “I was keen to give back after the support my mum received in the hospice. Hospiscare were such an important part of making her comfortable in her final few weeks, supporting her, and us, as a family. After not being aware of such a charity before my mum’s diagnosis, I think it’s important for people to realise the support Hospiscare provides.

During the Hospiscare Men’s Walk last year
During the Hospiscare Men’s Walk last year (Jill Pendleton)

“I’m a private person and I don’t like to talk about my emotions, a typical male, but when dealing with my mum’s cancer diagnosis, I needed to be strong for her and my family, as well as process the situation.

“Men's Walk is a chance for people who’ve been through tough experiences to come together and support each other and it means the world to me to have so many of my friends willing to give up their time to support me, and Hospiscare, at our annual get together - showing strength and appreciation of friendship.”

Men’s Walk is open to anyone but aims to provide a safe space for men to talk without judgement, as just 22 per cent of the current bereavement support calls received by Hospiscare are from men.  

Martin Stokke, Senior Events Fundraiser at Hospiscare, says: “It's great to see our local community coming together in support of Men's Walk with advance spaces on track to sell out well in advance this year!

"It costs £10 million a year to provide our care to local people in need. We get one of the lowest contributions of government hospice funding in the country – just 18 per cent of our costs – and we have to raise the remaining 82 per cent of our annual costs through fundraising every year.

“This, combined with soaring operating costs in the last 12 months, leaves us facing a £2.5 million funding shortage and puts our services seriously at risk. We want to continue standing by those in need but cannot do it without the support of our incredible community.”

Everyone who signs up for Men's Walk will be placed into a prize draw to win a crate of Exeter Brewery beer, a £25 Chunk of Devon gift voucher and a £50 Double Locks gift voucher.