St Wilfrid’s Firewalk - a three-metre walk over hot embers - is one of the hospice’s most personal fundraising challenges, where participants are invited to face their fears and achieve something they previously thought impossible.

Dave Young signed up for this year’s event a few weeks before it took place (March 9th). He gave his fundraising an extra boost by promising to shave off the beard he’d had for eight years if he reached the £1,000 mark.

In total, Dave raised more than £1,500 of the £16,000 raised by the event, an amazing contribution.

Dave completed the Firewalk in memory of his wife, Emm, who died suddenly three years ago. He sent this message to St Wilfrid’s Fundraising team when he signed up:

‘I feel it will be really symbolic for me, facing the fear of life without her, as I have been forced to do, and demonstrating the strength that I have found in myself since she died.’

Dave spoke of how he has taken more of a ‘grab life’ approach since Emm died: he and his daughter, Mabel, who is now nine, went to Thailand for a month last year, and he is considering becoming a life coach, so he can share what he has learnt through his experience to help others.

He explained that he would have done the Firewalk alone, in his back garden - to demonstrate to himself that he could do it - and that helping others through his fundraising was a bonus.

For Dave, taking part in the Firewalk is just one aspect of his ‘new start;’ shaving off his beard was just as symbolic as taking part in the walk itself.

Dave seemed to be adjusting to his new look - even if Mabel took a little longer to accept it! – but it coincided with the arrival of some strong winds, so he’s felt a bit cold!


It costs more than £13,000 a day to support local patients and their families, and so supporters like Dave really do make a huge difference.

If you would like to take part in an event for St Wilfrid's visit stwhospice.org/events or contact our Fundraising team on 01323 434241 or at [email protected].