North Anston: Remembering Rowan while raising vital funds with Bark around the Park

Happy memories of Rowan in 2012
Happy memories of Rowan in 2012

On Sunday 7th September, a family and their beloved pooch Poppy are taking part in Bark around the Park, a sponsored dog walk to raise funds for Bluebell Wood children’s hospice, to thank them for caring for their daughter Rowan who sadly passed away in November 2012.

Thirty year-old Sarah Poole and her husband Matt took part in the event with Rowan in 2012 whilst they were staying at the hospice.

Last year, along with family and friends, Sarah, Matt and Poppy the dog completed the walk again in memory of Rowan who was diagnosed with Spinal Muscular atrophy type 1B (SMA) when she was just ten months-old.

Rowan spent a lot of time at Bluebell Wood children’s hospice during the last few weeks of her short life and loved to spend time in the hospice grounds where Bark around the Park takes place.

British sign language interpreter, Sarah who is now also mum to seven-month-old Ember, said: “Back in 2012 when we first took part in Bark around the Park with Rowan, we decided that it was something we wanted to commit to every year.”

“This year we are introducing Ember to this family tradition.”

“Rowan loved to be outdoors looking at the trees and sky, so this is a perfect way to remember her and also raise money for a fantastic cause close to our hearts.”

The three and a half mile dog walk is back for the fourth year by popular demand and walkers are invited to come along with their pooches and take in the beautiful countryside surrounding Bluebell Wood.

The walk will take just over an hour and pet owners are encouraged to help their four-legged friend raise as much money as possible through sponsorship.

On arrival back at the hospice, cupcakes, buns and hot drinks will be on sale in the marquee.

Melanie Rose, fundraiser at Bluebell Wood children’s hospice, said: “It’s great to see Rowan’s family taking part in Bark around the Park and bringing along Poppy and Ember to join in on this memorable occasion.”

“We’d like to thank them all for their continued support for the hospice which will help us to raise funds for other children like Rowan who need our help,” she added.

Nigel Solway, who is organising the event along with support group Blu Crew, added: “There’s still time to sign up so we’d like to encourage all pet lovers to come and join us and make this year a barking success!”

Bluebell Wood children’s hospice offers care and support to children and young people with a shortened life expectancy, both in their own homes and at our hospice in North Anston.

There are only 43 children’s hospices in the country so the hospice care for over 160 children from across South Yorks, North Derbys, North Notts and parts of North Lincs.

It costs over £3 million a year to provide this service to families in the region, and the hospice receive less than 5% percent statutory funding.

For further information about the event please contact Nigel on 07889 957976.

Or to register, visit