Clocking up the miles in memory of lost loved ones

FUNDRAISING Lin Keitley and her daughter Louise Dixon are taking part in Moonlit Memories
FUNDRAISING Lin Keitley and her daughter Louise Dixon are taking part in Moonlit Memories

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BETWEEN them they will have walked almost 100 miles in the moonlight.

Now, for the fourth time, Louise Dixon, 34, and her mum Lin Keitley are set to stroll through the streets of Portsmouth in memory of lost loved ones.

They will be among hundreds taking part in the Rowans Hospice’s Moonlit Memories walk, which this year is being held on June 16.

Their journey is in memory of their brother and son Carl Collier, who died aged 30, and friend Mark Phillips, who died aged 42.

Louise, of Ebery Grove, Copnor, said: ‘This will be the fourth time that we’re taking part in the walk.

‘By the end of this walk we will have covered about 100 miles between us.

‘Carl had a heart condition, as did Mark. They both had unexpected deaths and that can be hard to come to terms with.’

Louise, an exams and health and safety officer at Portsmouth College, will be joining other families on the 12-mile route to raise money for the hospice in Purbrook.

Each year hundreds of people start off from Castle Field, Southsea, and walk around Old Portsmouth and the Historic Dockyard.

‘Taking part in this walk is a good way to remember them,’ added Louise.

‘It’s always poignant when we stop at Portsmouth Cathedral and light a candle.

‘It’s so touching and emotional, but at the same time it’s something different to take part in.

‘The atmosphere is always brilliant too.’

To mark the fifth anniversary of the walk, the minimum age limit of the walk has been dropped to 13 years old, so more families can take part.

A shorter five-mile course has also been introduced.

People cannot register on the night and need to enter by June 8. Last year about 1,600 people took part. The hospice is appealing for more people to sign up.

Money raised from the event goes towards running hospice services.

This includes its day care centre, bereavement services, the upkeep of 19 in-patient rooms, occupational therapy and physiotherapy, bereavement support for children and young people and carers groups. The walk starts at 11pm.

To download a registration form visit rowanshospice.co.uk or call (023) 9223 8533.