Hopes for fun, moving and record-breaking 10th Moonlight Walk

3 generations story MLW
3 generations story MLW

A Chichester hospice’s major fundraiser is set to make a splash on its tenth anniversary.

St Wilfrid’s Hospice, which cares for terminally ill patients alongside providing support to their families, is holding its annual Moonlight Walk on Saturday, May 5.

The overnight event sees hundreds of people walk 5km or 10km in memory of people they have loved.

Jerry Doyle, head of fundraising at St Wilfrid’s, said: “It’s a huge celebration of life and bonding together, so there’s an upbeat feel - from people wearing tutus and waving light sticks to dancing in the streets.

““As well as being very moving, the Moonlight Walk is a lot of fun.”

Starting at Westgate Leisure Centre, walkers take in the sights of Chichester, including the Bishop’s Palace Gardens.

This year, in celebration of the walk’s 10th anniversary, ‘the aim is to break some records with 1,000 people walking and £100k raised’.

Anniversary bonuses include ‘celebration stations’ along the route, featuring songsters, circus performers and a few special treats for star-gazers and fans of outer space.

A light show around the Westgate Leisure Centre will kick off the event, although walkers will also encounter a romantic moonlight serenade station, refreshments en route and a big screen.

Jerry said: “It’s the 10th anniversary and we want to celebrate that and thank everyone for their support.”

The 2018 event has already received celebrity tweets from guitarist and song-writer Brian May and actress Zoe Wannamaker.

Volunteers are welcome to help on the night with everything from marshalling walkers along the route and assisting with running stalls to signing people up and issuing kit.

Would-be walkers can still join in the fun.

Although online registrations close on May 1, people can turn up at Westgate and register on the night from 8.30pm onwards.

Entry costs £16 and includes a special 10th anniversary commemorative t-shirt, refreshments during the walk and a light breakfast after crossing the finish line.

Entrants must be over the age of 12 on the night of the event, while under 16s must be accompanied by a responsible adult.

Teams of 10 get one free place.

To register for the Moonlight Walk, see www.stwh.co.uk/moonlight

To volunteer, please email fundraising@stwh.co.uk

‘A purposeful experience’

Groups large and small are taking part in the St Wilfrid’s Hospice Moonlight Walk on Saturday, May 5.

One 33-strong team from Chichester has signed up in memory of a loyal colleague who sadly passed away in January.

Staff at Covers Timber and Builders Merchants in Chichester are walking through the night for Kev Starling, who worked at the company for over 40 years.

Kev lost his battle with cancer whilst being cared for at the hospice, having been diagnosed with the disease in November.

The team aims to raise a minimum amount of £1,000 for the charity.

Covers managing director Henry Green said: “Kev is sorely missed by everyone at Covers, so we are pleased to be honouring his memory with this walk on behalf of the hospice that took such great care of him.

“I think it’s important for everyone to get involved: we have an aging population and the greater use of hospice end-of-life care is going to be more and more important for everybody.

“It will be a physical and emotional challenge for all those taking part and I would like to wish the whole team the very best of luck.”

Three generations from Chichester sporting goods store Game, Set and Match are also taking part in the walk.

Grandmother Jan Barnes said: ““The Moonlight Walk is a ‘must do’.

“It’s a very purposeful experience. We have had a number of colleagues and friends who have had need of St Wilfrid’s and we know how much care and attention they have received. We want to be a part of that. When you say St Wilfrid’s, people smile because they are so good in their care and attention.”

Jan’s daughter Rebecca Stamp said: “The hospice is looking to expand and that’s wonderful, allowing it to look after more people in the local community.

“Turning up at 10’o clock at night is amazing! The length people go to to dress up, the costumes and colours ... You all walk out together and take part in the warm-up, which is hysterical. The laughter, fun and smiles, the lovely messages on the t-shirts mean so much. It really inspires you to join in the fundraising experience.”

“We are hoping to have a team of 10 this year; you can do the same, get your friends and your family and be there!”

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