What will happen once I register?
If you are taking part in an organised walk your hospital will send you your entry pack and any specific joining instructions for their chosen walk. These will differ from hospital to hospital as no two walks are identical.
If you are 'doing your own walk' you may hear from your chosen charity. However, please be aware that some the charities listed may not easily be able to get in touch with you. This is certainly not because they are ungrateful, it just be that they do not have the resources to get in touch.
Can I simply turn up on the day and take part in an organised walk?
Unfortunately, the short answer is no. You must register on-line or by post before the event as each hospital
needs to know how many people to expect so they can arrange adequate First Aid cover and all the other boring
things that go on behind the scenes to ensure a safe, fun day for everyone. Amongst others the Royal Berks walk
includes a BBQ and Salisbury arrange free ice-cream for everyone - imagine the PR disaster if they ran out!
Please note: For the Royal Berks walk on July 17th 2016, you CAN enter on the day!
Will there be loos en route?
Please check with your chosen hospital as it will depend on the walk. Portaloos are a good example of why we need you to register, they are expensive to hire and we want enough but not too many!
What about First Aid?
Individual arrangements will be in place. Many will have a marshal at every 1km who will be able to summon first aid if it is required.
How long will the walks take?
They are not a race and the idea is to go at a pace that suits you and, above all, to enjoy yourself. As a general rule you should expect to walk 10km in between 1.5 and 3 hours.
What about wheelchairs and pushchairs?
We've all tried our best to find routes that are accessible to all but it's not always possible as wet weather might stymie the best laid plans. Please check with your hospital beforehand.
Can I direct where my sponsor money goes?
Yes. The idea behind Walk For Wards is that the money you raise goes direct to your chosen ward. One or two hospitals taking part are running specific appeals and will ask you to support these rather than individual wards and we trust you will join them as the appeal will be for the benefit of your local community.
How do I get my sponsorship money to my chosen hospital?
If you choose to (and we would encourage you to do so), the registration process will help you set up an on-line sponsorship form with Just Giving that is linked direct to the bank account of the NHS charity of your chosen hospital. Just Giving will then reclaim any eligible Gift Aid (25%) and pass what you raise to the charity. Once you've registered the welcome pack you receive from your chosen hospital will have paper sponsorship forms and details of how to send in any cash or cheques you receive.
How fit do I need to be?
Each walk is different but none are massively challenging. The key thing is that you feel confident that you can complete your chosen distance comfortably, so whether you're as fit as a butcher's dog or a bit of a coach potato, gird up your loins and go at your own pace. If you are in any doubt, or have experienced health problems of any kind, please check with your doctor before taking part.
Can we enter as a team?
Yes. There is space on the registration form for you to tell us how many people are taking part and nothing makes us happier than seeing families, schools, local businesses, pubs and other social groups taking part. Some hospitals are offering prizes to the team that raises the most money per person - check with your chosen hospital.
We're entering a large team including some small children. Do we have to raise a minimum sponsorship each?
Many events are aimed at families, and we’re delighted that you want to come. Taking part in the event as a family and fundraising together is great fun, and we’d love you to raise as much as you can together to support your local hospital. Where entry is free, the sponsorship you raise is the only source of income from the event. We don't expect young children to raise the money themselves but hope as a family you’ll do your best to raise as much as possible. Whatever you achieve, you’ll be doing something amazing, and you could be surprised at how generous people will be when you tell them you are raising funds for your local hospital - all you need do is ask! And don't forget your welcome pack will have details of your local hospital charity office who are there with ideas and moral support.
What should I wear?
Walking boots or sturdy shoes are recommended and do pack your waterproofs and sun cream because rain or shine we're Walking For Wards. One or two of this year's walks have fancy dress as an option so read your hospital's welcome pack and be prepared get out the dressing up box!
Can I bring my dog?
It will depend from walk to walk.
What time can I arrive?
See your welcome pack for start times and remember to allow plenty of time to sign in and pose for publicity photographs before the official start.
Is there an age limit?
Everyone is welcome! All we ask is that children are accompanied at all time by a responsible adult who has also registered for the walk.
If a walk is free to enter, how will the hospitals raise any money?
The sponsorship you collect from friends, family, colleagues and employers is how we raise funds. As a guide we've asked you to raise as much as you can per person (regional variations apply) but the sky is the limit and the more you raise the more your favourite ward benefits so please aim high. Thank you.
Some hospitals may make a modest entry fee to help defray some costs of hosting their event and these are shown in the event details.
What will the hospitals do with the sponsorship money I raise?
If you specify a particular ward the money will be used by them to enhance patient care over and above what the NHS already provides. This might range from small presents for patients who spend birthdays and Christmas in hospital through to specialist medical equipment. Quite simply how your funds are spent will rest with frontline medical staff - we trust them with our lives so we can trust them to spend your hard won funds wisely. Opting for a hospital's General Fund gives medical staff the valuable freedom to enhance patient care anywhere in the hospital - all departments merit your support but not all receive donations and the General Fund helps overcome this.
My local NHS charitable trust is not listed, can I still Do My Own Walk for Wards?
If you can find your local hospital on www.justgiving.com you can always set up your own fundraising page and get walking. You might also like to let your charity know so that they can be added to www.walkforwards.co.uk for next year.
Who can I speak to about www.walkforwards.co.uk?
If you email email@example.com we will get back to you as soon possible.
Who is responsible for www.walkforwards.co.uk?
Two years ago a group of fundraisers, from different NHS charitable trusts, decided they wanted to do something that would help ALL NHS charitable trusts. They wanted to encourage people all over the country to support any hospital that had helped them or their loved ones. This is the year that we hope Walk for Wards will become a national campaign. If you think you can help us make the campaign even more successful, please do get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org.