Thank you for taking part in the moonlit walk

CHAMPIONS Moonlit Memories fundraisers who have taken part in the past four events to raise money for The Rowans Hospice.  Picture: Paul Jacobs (120744-1)
CHAMPIONS Moonlit Memories fundraisers who have taken part in the past four events to raise money for The Rowans Hospice. Picture: Paul Jacobs (120744-1)

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THEY’RE part of an elite group that have taken part in the Moonlit Memories Walks for the past four years.

And last night the Rowans Hospice said a massive thank you to them for their continued support.

The hospice in Purbrook Heath Way, Purbrook, invited the 76 people that have taken part in the 12-mile fundraising walk since it started in 2008.

Among them was Sandra Turner, 51, of Shearwater Avenue, Fareham.

The clerical administrator said: ‘I take part in memory of my husband Andrew, who used to sit in on some of the committee meetings at the Rowans. He was there when we first discussed the walk.

‘He died in November 2007, so I felt it was something I had to do in his memory and because of the tremendous support given to both of us.

‘Even while he was ill he was a volunteer driver for the Rowans, it just showed the kind of man he was.’

Andrew, 59, was diagnosed with a rare cancer in his leg, which spread to his lungs.

‘You just don’t know when you will need to use their services,’ added Sandra.

‘The Rowans is always there in the community to help and support. The walk is amazing. It is quite a long route, but it’s quite poignant to me because Andrew was a keen sailor.

‘The spirit is always great though.

‘You see people wearing T-shirts with loved ones’ faces printed on and it gives real inspiration to us all.’

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

Last year about 1,600 people took part – so far 234 people have signed up for this year’s walk on June 16.

David Saunders, 73, of Walden Road, Stamshaw, and his sons Alan, 45, and Mark, 49, will be walking together for a fifth year.

The trio walk in memory of their mother and wife Gloria, who died of pancreatic cancer aged 69 in 2007.

Mrs Saunders spent three weeks at the hospice, before her final wish was granted and she was able to pass away at home.

Mr Saunders said: ‘We’re so grateful to the Rowans for all they did for Gloria.

‘We did it the first year and the atmosphere is great, so we’ve taken part each year.’

To mark the event’s fifth anniversary the hospice has introduced a shorter five-mile route and lowered the age limit for walkers.

The minimum age limit has been dropped to 13 years old, so more families can take part. People cannot register on the night and need to enter by June 8.

The walk starts at 11pm.

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