Mum who lost son to lead charity walk for children's hospice
A MUM whose family was supported by a Wraxall children's hospice will lead a team of walkers in support of its work.
Amy Woodman's son Ashton Whitehouse was born with a rare condition – Zellwegers syndrome in 2009.
The family was supported at Charlton Farm hospice in the days before he died there aged just one month old.
The 27-year-old will lead a team of about 20 walkers taking part in Children's Hospice South West's Midnight Memory Walk on Friday, September 14.
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Among the walkers will be family members, friends and colleagues from the Clevedon branch of New Look where she works.
They will be known as the Rainbow Girls as each member of the group will be dressed in a different coloured all-in-one suit.
Ms Woodman, her partner Mark Whitehouse, and eldest son Taylor, aged eight, all stayed at the hospice during Ashton's last days and the whole family continues to be supported by Charlton Farm.
"It is an amazing place, we really cannot imagine not having been there," she said.
"I know how important it was for us to be a normal family when we were there.
"We were just able to do things we had not been able to when we were in hospital.
"Still now they are in touch with us and they never forget you.
"We just want to do as much as we can to raise money for them."
Last year's Midnight Memory Walk clashed with Ms Woodman's gran's 80th birthday, but her grandmother joined in with the spirit by asking for donations to the charity instead of presents, raising £600 for the cause.
And other members of the family have arranged fundraising events.
While the event is a women-only fundraiser some of the men in the family support it by marshalling on the night.
And Taylor is hoping to get in on the act by organising a pyjama day for the charity at school.
Ms woodman, of Clevedon, said: "I've taken part in the Midnight Memory Walk for the last few years as it's a really special way for me to remember Ashton. The atmosphere on the night is fantastic. Although there are sad moments, the way that everyone comes together to support each other is really uplifting."
The Midnight Walk, which is now in its fourth year, will follow a seven-mile circular route taking in many of Bristol's landmarks such as Clifton Suspension Bridge, ss Great Britain and Queen Square.
Karen Edgington, head of fundraising at Charlton Farm, said: "We are really honoured that Amy and her friends have chosen to remember Ashton and support CHSW by taking part in our Midnight Memory Walk.
"As a charity we are funded almost entirely by voluntary donations and we rely on events such as the walk to raise much needed funds."