The streets of Horsham were aglow with a sea of orange and neon, as more than 900 women, men and children stepped out under the stars, as part of St Catherine’s Hospice’s 10th anniversary Midnight Walk on Saturday (10 June), sponsored by Gatwick Airport.
Broadbridge Heath, the starting point for the walk, was buzzing, as people came together to raise money for the charity, which cares for local people facing death and bereavement.
Walkers were treated to goody bags, an energising warm-up by Alex Duffy, a musical performance from the Horsham Rock Choir, and rousing speeches from Head of Community Engagement at Gatwick Airport, Alison Addy, and St Catherine’s Chief Executive, Giles Tomsett, before being sent out to pound the pavements.
With glow sticks to help light their way, walkers enjoyed one of three, brand new, 7, 13 and 20 mile walking loops through the streets of Horsham, including stop-offs at The Holbrook Club, for refreshments, and St Mary’s Church, where people lit a candle in memory of someone special.
Wendy Buckingham, from Surrey, took part in this year’s walk for the first time, with a team of 12 family and friends, in memory of her husband, Ken who was cared for by St Catherine’s. After the group completed their seven mile walk, Wendy said: “The best part was the camaraderie. All the people I walked with have supported the girls and I since we lost Ken. The marshals and volunteers were amazing; they kept us going and it was lovely to have the beautiful St Mary’s Church open to stop and light a candle. Walking as a family and having my girls take part for their Daddy has been amazing.”
After completing their walking challenge, participants were welcomed back by cheering hospice staff, who congratulated them with a well deserved medal and breakfast.
Hannah Shorter, Events Fundraiser at St Catherine’s, said: “What a way to celebrate our 10th Midnight Walk anniversary! With so many people coming out to support St Catherine’s, we had an unforgettable night.
“There was a brilliant buzz from start to finish, and we’d like to thank every single person who took part, for giving up sleep to step out under the stars. We’d also like to thank our sponsors, Gatwick Airport, for their help, energy and enthusiasm into the early hours, and all our volunteer marshals, whose fantastic support kept walkers going throughout the night. We hope everyone enjoyed the night as much as we did!”
To find out more about how you can take part in future challenges for St Catherine’s, please visit: www.stch.org.uk.