Chichester played host to 720 dedicated supporters, who walked through the night to raise much-needed funds for St Wilfrid’s Hospice.
This was St Wilfrid’s ninth Moonlight Walk and it was a truly inspiring event, with people walking in memory of loved ones and others who simply wanted to help raise money for a local charity.
The walkers started at 10pm on Saturday from Westgate Leisure Centre and took either the five or ten-mile route through the city’s cobbled streets, the Roman Walls and Bishop’s Palace Gardens, which were beautifully lit with glow sticks to light the way.
Florence Road Café also opened its doors throughout the night to serve refreshments and offer encouragement to the walkers.
There were many teams walking this year, including local companies and groups of friends, distinctive in their fancy dress and illuminated accessories.
The fantastically face-painted Raccoons team from The Body Shop in Chichester said: “We are so pleased to be able to do the walk and we’ve raised over £400 in just ten days after a last-minute decision to register.”
One walker, Anne Emery, said: “I’ve had a lovely evening, it’s been really super. Lovely weather, lovely walk, lovely company and everyone’s been so friendly.”
Another walker, Nicky McCulloch, said: “The best bit of the evening was walking with my friends and then stopping to light a candle and remember a friend.”
Gemma Tupper, events and community officer, said: “Thank you to all our walkers and the volunteers who made the event possible. It was a wonderful night with a great feeling of community spirit.
“We’d also like to thank our main sponsors, South Downs Water, Westgate Leisure Centre and Chichester Observer. We’re hoping to raise around £75,000 in sponsorship and donations but we look forward to letting everyone know the final amount very soon.”
St Wilfrid’s Hospice is much more than a building. It provides tailored end-of-life care both in the community and at the hospice, supporting patients living with a terminal illness, and their family and friends.
The hospice’s vital services are all provided free of charge, thanks to the generous support of fundraisers and donors. Only 13 per cent of the running costs are currently met by the NHS and they rely on the community to fund the remainder, which equates to just over £7million each year.
Visit www.stwh.co.uk for more information or call 01243 775302.