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History of the Twilight walk

Take a look at how our flagship event, the Twilight Walk, has transformed over the years.

Walkers in their Twilight Walk t-shirts smiling and posing at the camera

The Twilight Walk has been a cornerstone of The Brain Tumour Charity for nearly 10 years! Since its humble beginnings in 2014, the charity walk has grown to become a key part of the brain tumour community. This post will cover:

  • Origin of The Twilight Walk
  • Becoming a flagship event
  • Evolution of Own Walks
  • BTAM
  • Get involved

Where it all began

The Twilight Walk was born in 2014. Held in Windsor, the 10km course stretched around the Great Park and offered a chance for the community to unite and walk together to raise brain tumour awareness. Community and togetherness have always been cornerstones of The Charity. Through campaigning or fundraising events like The Big Bake, the brain tumour community are a continuous driving force in all that we do. After seeing what The Twilight Walk meant for those affected by brain tumours and the powerful sense of community it created, it was only a matter of time before the charity walk became our flagship event.
The Twilight Walk in Windsor

The community really drove the development of The Twilight Walk and Own Walks. In Community Fundraising there was clearly lots of peer to peer support happening and an overwhelming feeling of being “in it together” and that together we are stronger and our voice heard.

Francesca Townson, Head of Community Fundraising

How The Twilight Walk became our flagship event

The first Twilight Walk raise £110,000. The charity walk became a popular and easy way for the community to come together and share their experiences. Clad in red Charity t-shirts and united by their understanding of the impact of brain tumours, thousands of people walked in memory of their loved ones and to accelerate a cure. Over the years, we’ve used this iconic event to reach as many people as possible, with organized walks taking place across the UK, including Edinburgh, York, Chester, Warwick and Windsor.

There’s a very real and tangible sense of belonging, with so many of our community coming together at the same time. There’s a huge mix of emotions but underlying it all, is a powerful sense of everyone is here for the same reason, everyone is here to support one another, share stories, and walk with others to show that no-one is alone in this. It is a wonderful event to be part of.

Piers, Fundraising PR & Celebrity Manager
Group of Twilight walkers smiling on a bridge in their t-shirts as the sun sets

Evolution of “Own Walks”

In 2016, we expanded The Twilight Walk concept by encouraging people to organize their Own Walk. We wanted to find a way for people to take part at a time or place that is meaningful to them. Own Walks take place throughout the month of The Twilight Walk, and allow family and friends to pick where, when and how far they go.

Twilight Walk Own Walks can take many forms. In 2019, four supporter groups (Repper Brothers Fund, Charlie Todd Fund, Dino-mite Dougal Fund and Super Sam’s Fund) in Scotland came together to walk their own Twilight Walk. The walk gathered an incredible 260 people, and was as large as our main walk for that year. Stories like this show the driving force the Twilight Walk has to bring together the brain tumour community in celebration of a shared passion to raise awareness, find kinder treatments and ultimately, a cure for brain tumours.

Own Walks really took off in 2020 when we held our first virtual Twilight Walk event. Constricted by the global pandemic, we allowed members of the brain tumour community to walk their own path towards a cure for brain tumours. We haven’t looked back since.

Now Own Walks are as popular as our in-person event. The emotional importance of where, how far, or when you walk is often a driving force for why people choose to walk it their way. A poignant time for reflection, Own Walks help family and friends celebrate those close to them that have been affected by a brain tumour whilst striding towards a cure.

There’s still time to walk it your way this March!

Two people completing their Own Walk at the beach

If you’re doing an Own Walk, choose somewhere special for your walk — a place that means something to you or your loved one. Make the most of the Own Walk Walkers Guide and reach out to the Community Fundraising team if you need any advice or support. Most of all, remember this is your day; a day for you to remember and honour what and who you’re walking for.

Francesca, Head of Community Fundraising

The Twilight Walk and Brain Tumour Awareness Month (BTAM)

This year we have made one major change to The Twilight Walk. Instead of holding the event in October, we’ll be walking this March during Brain Tumour Awareness Month (BTAM), a time when people around the world help raise awareness that this disease desperately needs. Hannah, a Senior Events Officer at The Charity said, “Moving The Twilight Walk to Brain Tumour Awareness Month in March is an extremely exciting opportunity for The Brain Tumour Charity! We feel this creates a truly meaningful time for everyone to come together for The Twilight Walk and make as much noise, and raise as much money, as we possibly can in such an important month for brain tumours.”

Time and time again we hear the brain tumour community share stories of how little people know about brain tumours. Often people do not know the signs and symptoms until they themselves or a loved one are diagnosed. In fact, about 75% of the UK are unable to name a single brain tumour symptom and only about 3% of funding into cancer research is dedicated to brain tumours. They are one of the most deadly cancers, with only 1 in 5 people surviving five years after diagnosis and little development in treatments in the last 40 years. Something must change, now.

Moving the Twilight Walk to March means we can unite the community as a time already dedicated to raising awareness. And for the first time, we’re taking the event to London! By walking the 10km in the heart of the capital, we want to show the bustling city the power of the brain tumour community, and our passion to accelerate a cure for brain tumours. Walk with us in London this BTAM.

Amazing, exciting, reflective – it feels like a real moment – you can’t help but feel moved and inspired. I always feel privileged and humbled to be part of the event. Everyone is there for a common reason but doing the walk their way – some come as part of a lively crowd and celebratory, whereas others prefer to walk alone and are more contemplative.

Laura Smith on what it’s like to walk on the day
Girls holding The Twilight Walk sign in their t-shirts

Walk it your way or walk with us this March

Every step matters when it comes to brain tumours. Get involved and sign up today to walk it your way or to join us in London on the 25th of March for this year’s in-person Twilight Walk. Take a look at our walkers guide for some top tips for the day, and make sure you’re geared up with our Twilight Walk merchandise from our shop.