A HOSPICE is appealing for more people to take part in its annual moonlit stroll to help raise vital funds.
The Rowans Hospice’s Moonlit Memories Walk is just over a month away now but numbers are down on previous years.
The hospice is aiming for more than 2,000 people to take part in the fundraiser this summer but only 1,173 people have signed up so far.
This time last year, hundreds more had pledged to walk the streets of Portsmouth under the night sky.
Hospice staff are now appealing for as many men and women to sign up and help make the fourth Moonlit Memories a huge success.
Amanda Mahoney, events fundraiser at The Rowans, said: ‘This is a wonderful event that anyone over 16 can take part in.
‘It is an opportunity to remember a close family member or friend, to raise vital money to support The Rowans Hospice and also to get fit.
‘I would encourage people to sign up as soon as possible.’
The 12-mile walk takes in major landmarks in the city including HMS Victory in the Historic Dockyard, which is specially lit for the occasion, the Spinnaker Tower, D-Day Museum and Royal Marines Museum in Eastney.
This year the walk starts an hour earlier than normal, at 11pm.
Organisers are promising a carnival-type atmosphere with live music provided by Sounds of Steel and the Portsmouth City Band.
Previous years have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds.
It is hoped the walk this year will raise £300,000.
One of the first people to sign up to the fundraiser was Ruth White, the chief executive of the hospice, who has done it every year since it began in 2008.
She said: ‘This is the fourth year I will be undertaking the Moonlit Memories event – a marvellous night when people walk in memory of those who have died and raise money to support the continuing work of The Rowans Hospice.
‘If you are up for a challenge, please do join me, and hopefully as many as 2,000 others, to walk through our historic moonlit city and watch the sunrise together.’
The Moonlit Memories is one of the hospice’s biggest fundraisers of the year.
It helps raise funds to meet the running costs of the hospice – which total over £4.2m every year, £3.4m of which needs to be fundraised.
The Moonlit Memories Walk, which is sponsored by Biscoes, will take place on Saturday, June 18.
The route starts at Castle Field, Southsea, passes along Southsea seafront and takes walkers into the Historic Dockyard, and into Old Portsmouth before finally returning to Castle Field for breakfast.
You can walk alone or walk as part of a group of friends, family or colleagues.
If you would like to register for the event visit rowanshospice.co.uk and download a registration form or call (023) 9223 8533.