Children keep their mother’s memory alight during walk

LIGHT Lauren Ayling, 23, with her brother Max Ayling, 14, lighting candles in  memory of their mother Martine Maughan, pictured with the pair of them inset.  Picture: Paul Jacobs (122056-22)
LIGHT Lauren Ayling, 23, with her brother Max Ayling, 14, lighting candles in memory of their mother Martine Maughan, pictured with the pair of them inset. Picture: Paul Jacobs (122056-22)
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BROTHER and sister Lauren and Max Ayling honoured the memory of their mum by taking part in a midnight walk.

Martine Maughan died four years ago, aged 44, from pancreatic cancer.

LIGHT Lauren Ayling Martine Maughan and Max Ayling

LIGHT Lauren Ayling Martine Maughan and Max Ayling

She left behind daughter Lauren, now 23, and son Max, 14, who say they will never forget the help given to them by the Rowans Hospice, where their mum spent her last 10 days.

The siblings joined hundreds of walkers on Saturday for the fifth Moonlit Memories Walk, which is the biggest fundraiser for the hospice.

Lauren, of Dickson Park, Fareham, said: ‘Mum stayed at the hospice for 10 days.

‘At the Rowans they were really friendly and supportive.

‘The walk was really nice and there was a good atmosphere. The cathedral was very poignant.’

Each year it costs £4.2m to run the service, in Purbrook Heath Road, Purbrook.

To mark the fifth anniversary of the walk, the age limit was lowered to 13.

Max said: ‘I was really happy I could take part in this walk.

‘I was gutted I couldn’t do it before and enjoyed taking part.’

Around 1,400 walkers gathered in Castle Field, Southsea, from 9pm for the 12-mile walk.

A shorter five-mile course was also introduced this year.

Walkers were entertained by Portsmouth steel band group Pantasy.

Nuffield Health and Fitness instructor Stacey Merritt and radio DJs Adrian Knight and Graeme Rowe also entertained the crowds.

The walk started in Castle Field, went along Southsea seafront, through the historic dockyard – where HMS Victory was lit up for the occasion – before heading back to Castle Field for breakfast.

Portsmouth’s Lord Mayor, Councillor Frank Jonas officially opened the walk.

He said: ‘It was just amazing – year after year all these fantastic people come our and support the Rowans.’

The hospice’s chief executive Ruth White said: ‘The warmth that emanated from everyone is incredible.

‘I want to thank everyone for coming. Seeing people’s memory sashes was incredibly moving.’