After Mairi Baker was cared for by St Wilfrid’s in December 2018, her friends and family chose to honour her memory by setting up a tribute fund to raise money for the hospice.

Jackie, one of Mairi’s many friends, sent in this piece about a country walk – featuring homemade gingerbread! – they completed as part of their fundraising efforts for their much-missed friend.

‘Mairi Baker died last December, leaving her family and her many friends devastated by the untimely loss of such a warm and wonderful person. Her last days were spent at St Wilfrid’s Hospice and we are all grateful for the excellent care she received.

‘Some of my happiest memories of precious time spent with Mairi are of walks in the Sussex countryside with friends, almost always ending with lunch at a pub, or, a close second, tea and cake in the garden of a tearoom.

‘So, when I wanted to do something in memory of Mairi, a walk seemed the best idea, and happily her husband, Spyke was in full agreement. After the usual flurry of emails, a date was fixed and a group of about 14 awaited further instructions. The plan was to do a walk of 7 or 8 miles, ending at a pub for lunch, and to charge people for coming, with all proceeds going to St Wilfrid’s Hospice. No-one seemed to object!

‘Another walking friend helped me test out the route, from Alfriston up to Windover Hill, across to Lullington Heath, along Charleston Bottom, Litlington then back along the river to Alfriston.

‘Saturday 6th April was the date agreed and we met on the Tye at 10.30. It was good walking weather, not too hot and no rain forecast. We had three spaniels with us, Mairi and Spyke’s dog, Panda, Panda’s friend Alfie and young Otto - all very well behaved!

‘We had a welcome coffee stop around midday with homemade gingerbread and flapjack (Mairi’s favourite), then, as we were making good time, a further stop in Litlington before heading for The George at Alfriston, with good appetites for a late lunch.

‘We raised our glasses to Mairi, having shared some very special - and never to be forgotten - memories of her.

‘Spyke supplied Gift Aid envelopes from St Wilfrid’s and everyone was very generous. We raised £245, had a fantastic day, and all felt that Mairi would have approved.’