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St Mary’s Hospice Walk to Remember 2010

NEARLY 800 women came together to raise an estimated £60,000 during the fourth annual St Mary’s Hospice Walk to Remember.

On Friday night, the 797 women who took part formed a pink parade and strode into the darkness together, singing, laughing and chatting as they went.

Whether it was their first time or their fourth, every woman who tackled the 11km (seven-and-a-half-mile) sponsored walk looked to be having a fantastic time.

Karen Crawford, 41, of Walney, walks with the same group of friends every year. She said: “We have been doing it for the last three years now, and we think it’s a great cause. It’s a really good atmosphere, a great feeling of camaraderie.”

Andrea Gardiner, 37, of Parkside, Barrow, was one of Mrs Crawford's fellow walkers. She said: “The first year it started, my mum died a few weeks before, and my sister also works at the hospice so we always support it. It’s nice to see all these women coming together.”

Jane Coles, of Rampside, Barrow said: “The atmosphere was really good, and to see so many people who are obviously walking for someone that they have lost was very moving. I’d say we’ll be doing it again next year.”

This year’s event started at Asda car park in Walney Road, Barrow, just after 10pm.

Walkers enjoyed a brisk warm-up, before Barrow Raiders’ Brett McDermott and Barrow deputy mayor Rory McClure set the ladies off on their way. From there it was up and away past the Holker Street football ground and up Cemetry Hill towards Thorncliffe Road.

As far as the eye could see, a swarm of matching pink t-shirts flashing bunny ears, deely-boppers and crowns wove through the streets of Barrow, as groups of friends, family and colleagues tackled the two-to-three-hour walk together.

It was a sight not to be missed, and as drivers and passers-by beeped their horns and craned their necks to take a closer look, the men of Barrow turned out to do their bit for the cause.

Despite not being able to take part in the women-only walk, dads, uncles, brothers, husbands and boyfriends took to the streets to show their support as their loved-ones marched past.

It was an event that brought Barrow together, as every person involved pushed themselves to raise as much as they could for the hospice.

A Walk To Remember is St Mary’s largest annual fundraiser, and the cash made through sponsorship of those taking part goes a long way towards the £2m the hospice must raise every year to provide its services to the community.

This year, organisers estimate money raised by the event will add £60,000 to this target.

Zoe Guest, fundraising and operations manager at St Mary’s Hospice, said: “It was fantastic, I think it was the best one we’ve ever done. It was great to have so many people taking part, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, and to raise such an amazing amount is absolutely fantastic.

“Everyone’s got their own personal reason for taking part. There are a lot of people who take part who are related to someone we have looked after, and a lot of times, ladies walk in groups together. Some come back every year.

“We’d like to thank Asda Barrow, the BAE first aiders and all the volunteers who worked hard beforehand and on the evening to make the event possible.”

Have your say

I thought that the night was a fantastic night, good atmosphere and i hope everyone enjoyed it :D i am defo doing it next year... and i hope there is more people doing it next year :D......

Posted by Sophie Farghar on 19 May 2010 at 11:47

What a fantastic turnout and every one who took part was brilliant, Such a good atmosphere,hope to do it again next year.

Posted by Hayley Cumberbatch on 17 May 2010 at 19:48

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