12-mile walk in the middle of the night? Not a problem for us!

The Rowans Hospice fourth Moonlit Memories Walk took place on Saturday evening of the 18th June 2011 in Southsea.  Pictured is: The walkers all excited before the walk began.  Picture: Sarah Standing (112180-3946)
The Rowans Hospice fourth Moonlit Memories Walk took place on Saturday evening of the 18th June 2011 in Southsea. Pictured is: The walkers all excited before the walk began. Picture: Sarah Standing (112180-3946)
Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham

Health trust that runs Queen Alexandra Hospital is rated as above national average for the environment it provides for patients

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hundreds of walkers made this year’s Moonlit Memories a night to remember.

Around 1,600 walkers gathered in Castle Field, Southsea, from 9pm for the 12-mile walk, which is the biggest fundraiser for The Rowans Hospice.

Among them was Debbie Morey, of Leafy Lane, Whiteley.

The 44-year-old was walking in memory of David Hardy – her best friend Jo Jones’ father – who died of bowel cancer 11 years ago.

She said: ‘David was 57 when he passed away and he had spent time at The Rowans.

‘The hospice was great because they made him so comfortable.

‘This is the first time I have taken part in the walk.

‘His family usually do it, but couldn’t this year so I thought it was something I would do.’

Walkers were entertained on their way around by the Portsmouth City Band, Batala Samba drum group and Table Top Circus.

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

Portsmouth’s deputy Lord Mayor Frank Jonas said: ‘The Rowans is a unique charity – when people ask me what is good about Portsmouth I think of The Rowans.

‘It gives a great example of people’s kindness in the city.

‘Despite it being so windy people were here smiling and ready to go. The atmosphere was amazing.’

Each year it costs £4.2m to run the hospice, in Purbrook Heath Road, Purbrook – and £3.4m of that needs to be fundraised.

Events fundraiser Amanda Mahoney said: ‘Everyone at the hospice was excited about the walk.

‘For so many this was such a poignant walk.

‘It’s a chance for them to remember loved ones.

‘We had fantastic entertainment to get the crowds warmed up, but so many of them were carrying their own enthusiasm.’