Over 1,500 women took part in the Midnight Walk on Saturday 19th May raising around £150,000 for St Elizabeth Hospice.
Dressed to impress in fancy dress and school-disco themed clothes, they started the ladies-only sponsored night-time circular walk at 11pm from Ipswich Town Football Club in Portman Road.
With many women choosing to walk in memory of a loved one, the atmosphere on the night was a mixture of fun and reflection.
There were two routes to choose from this year, a five mile and an eight mile.
Around three quarters of the women chose the longer route which poignantly passed the Hospice on Foxhall Road, Ipswich, where they could hang a personal message on the Tree of Remembrance.
St Elizabeth Hospice’s Chief Executive Jane Petit said: “I would like to thank all the women who took part in the Midnight Walk 2012 for St Elizabeth Hospice and everyone who sponsored and supported them.
“It was a tremendous night and we estimate it raised around £150,000 which will have a real impact on helping us to continue to provide specialist services free of charge to local people living with a progressive illness.
“The money will make a real difference to our patients, their families and carers and on behalf of them I would also like to say thank you.”
She added she was grateful to the 200 volunteers who helped out on the night. “Without them we wouldn’t have been able to put on an event of this scale.”
The rain held off and participants were supported along the route. Ipswich firefighters cheered the women on and handed out refreshments at the Royal George Flaming Grill pub on Colchester Road.
And men from the Port of Felixstowe dressed as Spartans handed out biscuits at Derby Road.
At the end of the walk, everyone was rewarded with a medal and a well-deserved bacon roll and hot chocolate.
If you missed out, you can still support the Midnight Walkers and St Elizabeth Hospice – text-to-donate MNWK12 £10 or MNWK12 £5 to 70070. Every penny of your donation goes to the Hospice and you can Gift Aid to your donation, making it worth 25% more.
St Elizabeth Hospice is a charity which relies on donations and fundraising to meet the majority of its running costs.
Midnight Walk 2012 was supported by the Ipswich Star, East Anglian Daily Times and Town 102.
WHAT THE WALKERS SAID:
Fifteen-year-old Aylish Collins’ mum Michele died five weeks ago, aged 49. Relatives walking together as Michele’s Belles were taking part in the event for the first time.
Aylish (right) said: “I am glad to have taken part for my mum, but sad too.
“She was with us every step of the walk. Everyone at the Hospice has been amazing. My brothers and I stayed with mum every night at the Hospice and that meant a lot to us.”
Sue Evans, whose husband Roy died at the Hospice a month ago, walked with her friend and neighbor Val Volz. Mrs Evans, who raised more than £1,500 in sponsorship, said: “It was a good night but also emotional. Roy would have wanted me to have had a good time on the walk.”
A group of ten family and friends formed Royce’s Angels and walked in memory of 25-year old Royce Fosdike . His mum Susan Fosdike said: “The Hospice staff have been brilliant to us and Royce. We wanted to raise as much money as possible to help the Hospice to continue to care for people.”
Gordon’s Girls returned for a second year walking in memory of Gordon Vince. Widow Pam Vince, of Ipswich, said: “We’ll come back year after year, it is for such a good cause.”
Linda Keevil, who has taken part each year, was joined by five friends. She said: “I have known people cared for at the Hospice. It is such a worthy charity and we will keep coming back every year to this event.”