Dressed as princes, princesses, Minions, Batman, Captain America and Wonder Woman, hundreds of children came together to remember someone special.
The huge group of youngsters brought a dash of extra colour to Portsmouth Historic Dockyard as they took up the Children’s Moonlit Memories Meander with the support of their loved ones.
Families enjoyed a one-and-a-half or three-mile stroll around the naval base in aid of The Rowans Hospice.
And it was a chance to remember someone who had died and been cared for by staff at the Purbrook hospice in their final days.
Trudy Webdale showed her support with daughter Ruby, nine, of Cosham.
Ruby, who came in her Minnie Mouse onesie, wanted to play her part as her great-grandmother Doreen Child was cared for at the Rowans.
We have had so many children come out, it’s wonderful to see them.Rowans Hospice chief executive Ruth White
Mum Trudy said: ‘Ruby wanted to help raise money for The Rowans.
‘It’s great events like this help to make children aware of fundraising. The Rowans is very close to my heart because of my nan.’
Trudy’s friend Wendy Shier and her daughter Gabby Burnett, 10, in a Minions character onesie, also signed up for the Meander for the third time.
Gabby’s nan Valerie Burnett passed away 10 years ago.
Wendy said: ‘Gabby always spoke about Valerie, and then a few years ago she decided she wanted to do something to remember her.’
Julie Lewis-McGinn, of Haslemere, brought along her daughter Annabel, nine, who was dressed up as Wonder Woman.
Julie’s sister Valerie, 51, died of a brain tumour in December last year.
Annabel said: ‘I wanted to do this for my auntie Val; she meant a lot to me.’
Julie said: ‘Annabel had said for a long time she wanted to do something for those who have had cancer.
‘The Rowans was brilliant, and the staff there do such a fantastic job.’
Young children took to a stage and sang hits including Frozen’s Let It Go and Do You Want to Build a Snowman ahead of the start to get people in the mood.
And there was a fun-filled warm-up exercise routine led by staff from Nuffield Health.
Children could also make a memory star to hang on a ‘tree of lights’ in St Ann’s Church as well as light a candle in memory of someone.
Jo Little, of Fareham, enjoyed the occasion with daughter Louise, six, and son Jake, nine.
The children collected £90 in donations for the hospice and were there to remember great-grandmother Jean Harris, who died 16 years ago.
Jo said: ‘This is about helping the children to raise awareness of the great work The Rowans does, and an important part of it for them is about remembering their grandmother.
‘It’s a really enjoyable way of them getting involved and raising funds at the same time.’
Dressed up as Batman was Fin Lyons, six, of Horndean.
The youngster, who has cerebral palsy, did the route in his wheelchair and was joined by mum Carly, 36, and his cousin Curtis Hibbert – who had his Captain America outfit on.
Carly, said: ‘We just wanted to raise money for a good cause and have a bit of fun.
‘It’s good for them to recognise this is for such a good cause.’
Rowans Hospice nurse Emma Standivan, 40, was raring to go with daughter Libby Crane, six.
Libby’s auntie Jean died around the time of Father’s Day in June this year.
Emma said: ‘I hope Libby would have seen the other children here and seen how they have supported the hospice.
‘Doing this will give her a sense of achievement and will help her to understand why we have done it.’
A total of £23,000 was raised for the Rowans last year.
Since the meander began in 2010, 2,5000 children have taken part and raised £110,000 altogether.
Rowans chief executive Ruth White, who cut a ribbon to mark the beginning of the walk, said: ‘It’s just unbelievable. We have had so many children come out, it’s wonderful to see them.
‘They’re all doing it in awareness of people who have died.
‘But some are here for the fun of it; there are nursery and school groups and it’s wonderful.’