Home News A big thank you to all who took part in our Virtual Midnight Memory Walk

6 Nov 2020 Community

A big thank you to all who took part in our Virtual Midnight Memory Walk

At The Kirkwood, we know how important it is to honour the memory of those we love and how it can create a truly special experience for all involved. Every year, hundreds of families from across Kirklees come together to walk in memory of someone special they have lost. Although this year was a little different to normal due to the pandemic, our event organisers and supporters were determined to not hang up their walking boots.

We were truly overwhelmed with the response to our Virtual Midnight Memory Walk and the determination of the Kirkwood community who took to the outdoors and paths around their homes to celebrate this event. We’d like to take a moment to thank everyone who supported us. Every step taken and every penny raised goes towards supporting life, so we can carry on providing our the very best care to those who need it.

We all have a different story to tell, with many of us having our very own special reason for supporting The Kirkwood. Whether you spent time here as a child visiting a relative, a family member has received care from a Kirkwood nurse, or you’re just familiar with the work we do here, we are connected by a mutual love and passion for The Kirkwood.

With this, we’d like to share with you just a handful of the wonderful stories from this year’s Virtual Midnight Memory Walk.

Beth Otyehel and family walking for Steven Otyehel.

“Our family walked six miles along the Leeds-Liverpool canal to remember our dad and grandad, Steven Otyehel, who died 10 years ago.

Beth, Mark, Emma and Steven


“With it being a decade since he passed away, we wanted to do something special as a family to remember him. We have done lots of walks before with The Kirkwood, maybe seven or eight, but this was the first time all Dad’s grandchildren were able to join the walk, as midnight had always been too late for the little ones.

“My sister, Vicky, completed her walk at the same time as us over in California and connected with us all via Skype; all of were us walking in a dark and windy Calderdale, while Vicky was in sunny California! It was so good to have the connection of the shared experience, even though we were thousands of miles apart. I had ordered the t shirts early so was able to send these to our family overseas so they would feel like they were a part of something really special.


“Dad was only 49 when he started to feel unwell and we had grand plans for his 50th birthday, which he never got to see. Vicky and I were both pregnant when he was diagnosed in March. Vicky’s daughter, Cally, was born in June 2010 and managed a cuddle with her grandad, but sadly Dad never met my daughter, Georgia, as he died seven weeks before she was born.

“The Kirkwood was amazing with us especially as we were a big boisterous family with young grandchildren visiting. They hosted birthday parties for us and allowed Dad’s wife, Rebecca, to stay with him as much as he needed. The staff were kind and went out of their way to make us all comfortable. I will always remember the look and feel of the In Patient Unit and I will always remember him when I see fuchsias. We will be forever grateful that Dad got to spend his last days at The Kirkwood. It’s a truly extraordinary place.”

Ann Walton and friends walking for Benny Walton.

“We walked five miles in memory of my husband Benny, alongside Sally, Alaina and Lauren Briggs, his three goddaughters and dear friends. This is the first time we have been involve in a walk such as this. Benny only passed away last year, so I decided I was going to set myself a challenge in his memory and I was honoured to have my friends with me along the way.


“I chose to participate in the walk to pay respect to the care Benny received at The Kirkwood. I vividly remember he had to go for an assessment and he really didn’t want to go, but when he left the site at Dalton he felt so much more reassured and said everyone should have the opportunity receive the same level of compassionate care as he did. Thank you Kirkwood for helping to make the end of Benny’s life so special.”

Bob Haigh and furry companion Xena, walking for Daniel Haigh.

“I walked to remember my son Daniel, who would have turned 40 years old in September. He sadly died in a car crash back in 2010. I walked 10.3 miles with my dog, Xena, from the canal basin in Brighouse to Salterhebble and back. I have never walked for Kirkwood before, but regularly buy and donate to the shops so I felt it was time to set a challenge and show my support for a charity close to home which has felt the impact of the pandemic.

“I have no personal connection to Kirkwood, but like most people around Huddersfield, I have known several people who have gone to Kirkwood for support, so over the years I have learned of the charity’s amazing work.”

Bob's son, Danny

Bob taking on his walk with Xena

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