On the 6th July a group of dental colleagues from Hutton Dental practice met in the late hours to prepare themselves for a 10K walk beneath the stars in Romford. The team were there to raise funds for the charity St Francis Hospice, which is local to their practice
. The idea was first formed after the death of their practice’s beloved receptionist Alison Henry. The practice sadly lost Alison to cancer in January and decided to use St Francis Hospice’s annual charity walk as opportunity to remember their loved friend and co-worker. Ali had received care from St Francis Hospice when she was ill. Specialist nurses from St Francis Hospice regularly visited and checked on Ali at her home, she spent her final days at the hospice in Haver-atte-Bower. One of the dental nurses of Hutton Dental practice was reported to say, ‘The care and understanding shown to Ali and her family and friends was outstanding.’
The walking group consisted of 11 which included dental nurses, dentists, receptionists and the practice manager Bridget Pollard from Hutton Dental practice which is situated in Brentwood. Bridget expressed, ‘Ali had been a receptionist at our practice for over 20 years. She began out as dental nurse and was head receptionists for 7 years. She died in January from cancer. We decided that a wonderful way to remember her would be to take part in the St Francis Hospice walk. It was also a chance to raise money for the charity.’ Ali was well known and loved by the patients of Hutton Dental Practice and the local community. Bridget said, ‘The walk was also a chance for us to let the patients know and remember Ali, patients were extremely supportive.’
The event sparked off with half an hour of Zumba warmup. The walk then began at 10.30pm at Liberty Shopping centre and finished just after midnight in the same spot. Bridget and her team dressed themselves in flashing pink ears and tiaras. They were joined with another 500 people taking part in the walk. Bridget said, ‘Ali would have loved it, she would have laughed out loud if we told her what we were doing. We got some funny looks and there was a lot of beeping and tooting from cars. It was a really fun evening and a lovely way to remember Ali.’ Bridget and her team have raised £900 for St Francis Hospice, with more donations on the way.