Dogs do their bit to help raise thousands for Rowans Hospice

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HUNDREDS of paws trampled through mud for The Rowans Hospice at the charity’s annual dog walk.

A pug in a Christmas onesie and Alsatian sporting a tinsel scarf were among the 200 animals that turned up with their owners to take part in the three-mile walk around Stansted Park in Havant.

Father Christmas starts the four mile 'Walkies' sponsored dog walk around Stanstead Park, Havant to raise money for The Rowans Hospice, Purbrook, Havant. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (143395-355)

Father Christmas starts the four mile 'Walkies' sponsored dog walk around Stanstead Park, Havant to raise money for The Rowans Hospice, Purbrook, Havant. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (143395-355)

Walkers pledged to raise at least £3,800 on the day, with the hospice hoping to raise at least £4,000 from the event overall.

Ruth White, chief executive of The Rowans Hospice, took part with her daughter and two-year-old labradoodle, Bella.

Ruth said: ‘I think this is a really lovely event.

‘We have asked for each dog to raise at least £25 so hopefully that will raise us a nice sum of money to help pay for the hospice’s services.

143395_WALKIES_30/11/14''Simon Norris, Smantha Glassby and their dog Rick. ''Four mile 'Walkies' sponsored dog walk around Stanstead Park, Havant to raise money for The Rowans Hospice, Purbrook, Havant. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (143395-411) PPP-141130-171537003

143395_WALKIES_30/11/14''Simon Norris, Smantha Glassby and their dog Rick. ''Four mile 'Walkies' sponsored dog walk around Stanstead Park, Havant to raise money for The Rowans Hospice, Purbrook, Havant. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (143395-411) PPP-141130-171537003

‘In the past, we have done very well with this event, with a couple of dogs in the past raising more than £1,000 each.

‘Many of our events, if not most of them, really maintain a connection with families who have been touched by The Rowans Hospice in some way.

‘What we try do it so people feel they can come and join in. Rowans is a family and is about community, and it means we can do things together.

‘I believe that maintaining a relationship with people through events is a therapy in itself so I think it is wonderful to have these events and have family and friends continue to keep in touch with us.’

143395_WALKIES_30/11/14''(l-r) Rebecca Plumb, Harry Willis (10), Leo Willis, Daisy Willis (7) Julie Oliver, Charlie Oliver and Kelly Burgess with their dogs, (l-r) Elsa, Olly, Bailey and Ralphy. ''Four mile 'Walkies' sponsored dog walk around Stanstead Park, Havant to raise money for The Rowans Hospice, Purbrook, Havant. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (143395-946) PPP-141130-171553003

143395_WALKIES_30/11/14''(l-r) Rebecca Plumb, Harry Willis (10), Leo Willis, Daisy Willis (7) Julie Oliver, Charlie Oliver and Kelly Burgess with their dogs, (l-r) Elsa, Olly, Bailey and Ralphy. ''Four mile 'Walkies' sponsored dog walk around Stanstead Park, Havant to raise money for The Rowans Hospice, Purbrook, Havant. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (143395-946) PPP-141130-171553003

One person who has been touched by The Rowans Hospice is Roger Millard from Port Solent.

Roger has been volunteering in the hospice’s coffee shop for the past three years, following the death of his wife at the hospice.

He took part in the dog walk with his daughter and her Jack Russell.

He said: ‘I look at it as a place of support and that is why I wanted to keep involved,’ he said.

‘I feel very much a part of the Rowans family. I often get involved in helping but I decided to come along to take part in the walk.’

Peter Atkinson from Gosport was also taking part with partner Emma and their dog, black Labrador Maisie.

He said: ‘We came down to support the charity. It is a good chance for the dog to get out and meet others.’