Registration has officially been opened for St Elizabeth Hospice’s Midnight Walk 2011 by acclaimed novelist Esther Freud.
Esther, who has a second home on the Suffolk coast, is a supporter of the Hospice and is urging as many women as possible to take part in the mass participation night-time sponsored walk and make it the most successful one ever.
She met staff and patients at the Hospice in Foxhall Road, Ipswich, on Thursday 3rd February and then took part in the official launch of registration.
Midnight Walk 2011 – supported by the Evening Star, East Anglian Daily Times, Star Advertiser and Town 102 – is a ladies-only eight-mile circular walk which leaves Ipswich Town Football Club around 11pm on Saturday 14th May.
Now in its fourth year, there will be several new elements for 2011 including the excitement of one mass start time, a Bollywood dance-style warm up with expert Honey Kalaria – and a new route which poignantly passes the Hospice allowing a time for reflection.
Esther, who often goes to her Walberswick home to write and for family holidays, said: “These are challenging times for charities and I understand how important it is for the Hospice to raise the millions of pounds it needs each year to continue to provide its important services to the East Suffolk community.
“The Midnight Walk is a fantastic event and provides an opportunity for women to have fun and bond while supporting the Hospice or remembering a loved-one on a night time walk and I think that is a lovely idea.”
Esther, who trained as an actress, has written seven novels including Hideous Kinky, which was made into a film starring Kate Winslet, and the Sea House which was set in Suffolk. She is married to actor David Morrissey and is the daughter of painter Lucian Freud, the great grand-daughter of Sigmund Freud and her uncle was the late politician Sir Clement Freud.
St Elizabeth Hospice’s chief executive Jane Petit said: “We are grateful for Esther taking time out to support the Midnight Walk and hope she will inspire hundreds of women to take part this year. “
Last year’s event attracted around 2,300 women and raised around £250,000. The Hospice is an independent charity which costs £6.6m a year to run or £13 a minute and provides its services free of charge.