HUNDRED’s of families and friends took part in a popular fundraising event in memory of lost loved ones.

St Mary’s Hospice celebrated its 30th anniversary year with the biggest ever number of supporters taking part in its annual Walk to Remember.

More than 850 people from across Furness took part in the 10 mile route, from Ulverston to Barrow, with many walking in memory of loved ones cared for by the hospice. Money raised by the event will go towards the hospice's running costs.

Sponsored by Orsted, the evening began at Ulverston Better Leisure Centre with the vocal talents of Lorraine Kafanke and Denis Horan and then a fantastic dance display by Dance Active and Elite Dance and Fitness.

There was also magic in the air as Lakes Wedding magicians entertained the large crowd.

With special Walk T-shirts and selfie boards, a photo booth and face painting there was plenty to create a vibrant atmosphere.

Mel Dixon, St Mary’s events and challenges fundraiser gave an emotional speech thanking walkers for their support.

She said: “Tonight is all about you and remembering your loved ones. Each and every one of you will have a story behind why you have joined us here tonight, I hope we have created an environment that allows you all to share, reflect and most importantly smile.”

After an official countdown, at 8pm the walkers were led out to the amazing sounds of Boom Dang. The next stop was Charnley’s Home & Garden, Dalton, who generously provided facilities and refreshments, with Tesco Barrow Community donating healthy snacks too. Walkers were looked after by volunteer marshals and cheered on by St Mary’s care staff at check points.

Walkers crossed the finishing line at Furness Academy – under a fabulous balloon arch donated by Robert Kitchin from Inspirations, Ulverston – and received a medal to mark their achievement. Furness Academy also provided snacks and a welcome rest for weary feet. St Mary’s will share the final amount raised later in the year and look set to raise more than £45,000.