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Rain doesn’t dampen spirits for Moonlight Walk

Posted on 16 September 2013

Three hours solid of torrential rain didn’t deter 413 local people from taking the challenge to walk a stretch of the Kent coast on Friday.

Combining glow sticks and flashing headgear with umbrellas, wellies and waterproofs, Pilgrims Hospices Moonlight Walkers set out from Kings Hall on Herne Bay seafront. Families, friends and colleagues of all ages came from Herne Bay, Canterbury, Faversham and further, choosing from either a 10k or 15k walk along the promenade to Tankerton and back to raise money for the charity.

Anne Gill, 77, from Canterbury completed the challenge with her daughter. She said: “It was very wet out there but it was a great event for a good cause so we just said to ourselves, let’s do it! We admire Pilgrims Hospices for everything they do in our community, they are there for us so we want to be there for them.”

With a group of eleven friends, Sally Edge was walking in memory of her husband Ben who died, aged just 31, following a fight against advanced malignant melanoma, a form of skin cancer. The 13th would have been the couple’s fifth wedding anniversary so Sally pledged to do the walk and set up a Just Giving page ‘Friends of Ben’ to collect sponsorship for Pilgrims Hospice which cared for him: “We’ve raised £3,000 for Pilgrims in less than a month which is brilliant news. It was a lovely evening tonight, it’s been fun to walk with a big group of friends, I’ve had so much support.”

Sharon Elliott from Herne Bay was walking for her four year old son Harry, who has cancer, and in memory of her mum who died 20 years ago of cancer.

“Sometimes it helps at difficult times like these to be around others and enjoy a social event,” she said. “It’s also important for awareness, we have to turn the corner of seeing hospices as simply being a place where people go to die – it’s so much more than that and changing that mindset means people can make the most of the huge range of services that are on offer in hospices.”

Organising the event, with the help of volunteers and staff from Pilgrims Hospices, was Deborah Kellond. She said: “It was brilliant to see so many people brave the rain and enjoy themselves. The atmosphere was really uplifting and everyone kept smiling.”

Walkers enjoyed plenty of pampering along the way with volunteer Ginny Taylor’s homemade flapjacks and chocolate brownies being shared from the Pilgrims Stagecoach bus at the half way point, as well as pampering massages from local health company Bodywell and treats to nibble on from Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shop.

Your Music School provided live music to get everyone in the mood and Kelly Cullen from Kelly’s Fitness Group started things off with some pulse-raising exercises before the walk!

The charity won’t know the full amount raised until November as sponsorship is still coming in but say it is really pleased with how it went. Adds Deborah: “We are so grateful to all the walkers, supporters, sponsors and volunteers who made this event possible, you have made a huge contribution to Pilgrims Hospices.”

*You can also find out more about Pilgrims Light Up The City event in October, which is another opportunity for a fun evening of fundraising this time in Canterbury.


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