ARMED with glow sticks and boundless energy, more than 600 women clad in neon tutus and leg warmers responded to Prospect Hospice’s call at the annual Starlight Walk.
Excitement was palpable as challengers set off from Lainesmead Primary School on Saturday at 8pm sharp on their respective 10k and 15k moonlit strolls at the Wroughton charity’s largest fundraising event.
Among them were locals businesses, relatives and friends of former current and former patients as well as a team of Adver staff.
Emma Dunn, features writer, joined reporter Liz Mackley, news editor Katie Bond, features editor Michelle Tompkins, deputy editor Pauline Leighton as well as media consultants on the night in aid of the 160 Appeal.
She said: “It was really fun and we all had a fantastic time. It got a bit hard near the end but we pushed through to the finish line. I really wanted to do this for our 160 Appeal. Prospect means a lot to thousands of patients and their families and this is the least we can do for them.”
Her team member Liz added: “I have started a new fitness regime to lose enough weight to do a skydive for Prospect so the Starlight Walk helped me meet my weekly walking quota.
“It was also great being out at night all together and raising money for such a great cause. I’m proud of us.”
Participants’ flashy outfits and accessories were not the only ones to shed a warm light under the moonlit skies at the ‘Light up The Night’ themed walk as the hospice had planned a trail of luminous surprises along the route including a UV dream land, an enchanted lake and a fully lit tunnel.
In its seventh year the event is expected to raise more than £50,000.
Unlike some of the charity’s other events all donations collected through the Starlight Walk are spent directly on nursing care.
Prospect events fundraiser Genevieve Arney said the Starlight Walk was essential in collecting funds for nursing care.
“This is its seventh year and it’s the biggest event in our fundraising calendar,” she said.
“The Starlight Walk is an opportunity for people to get involved in a fundraising event for their local hospice, raising much-needed funds for the nurses and clinical staff who deliver the care to hundreds of patients each year.
“The demand for the care that we provide, at the hospice, for patients at home, and through our nursing team at the Great Western Hospital, continues to grow, and it’s to enable us to provide that care that we stage events like this one.”