Moonlit Memories: More than 1,000 take part in hospice's walk in Portsmouth

THOUSANDS of people have paid tribute to loved ones who have been supported by a caring hospice.

Sunday, 10th June 2018, 5:12 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 4:45 pm
Moonlit Memories walkers Mandy Knights, Tiffany Morris and Becky Copper frame themselves PictureS: Vernon Nash (180392-0025)

The annual Moonlit Memories walk around Portsmouth saw people flock to the city to walk in aid of Rowans Hospice, a charity that provides end-of-life care to people across the region.

Setting off at 10pm on Saturday night, more than 1,300 people walked from Castle Field in Southsea – taking part in a six or 10-mile walk around the city.

Many of those taking part in the event had a friend or family member who was looked after by the hospice.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

A high kick from Georgina Knight, Mary Tomlinson and Vanessa KnightPicture: Vernon Nash (180392-0054)

Among them were Lesley Searle, 52, from Havant, and her brother Mark Searle, from Eastney.

Lesley said: ‘Our dad was at Rowans Hospice when it first opened 23 years ago.

‘It’s an amazing place and I can’t say enough good things about them – they do such a great job looking after so many people.

‘They make what you’re going through bearable and let you have a laugh together at the hospice too.’

Jenna Hiscock gets the walkers doing Zumba before the start Picture: Vernon Nash (180392-0077)

Mark said: ‘Almost everyone here has been helped in some way or another by the hospice – some more than once as well.

‘It’s nice to know that Rowans is so well supported and it bodes well for the future.

‘The chance to give something back to a charity that has done so much means everything to us.’

Also on the walk was 20-year-old Chaniece Alderton, from Cosham, and her mum Amanda.

Pompey masco Nelson was there to give support Picture: Vernon Nash (180392-0099)

The two were walking in memory of Chaniece’s great grandmother, as well as a close friend of Amanda.

Chaniece said: ‘This isn’t the first time we’ve done this – we always like to do something for the hospice.

‘It’s all to do with family and the way Rowans looks after people.’

Amanda said: ‘It’s really nice to see everyone pull together for the hospice like this.

Fireworks explode above as the walkers set off as with fireworks Picture: Vernon Nash (180392-0113)

‘Our family has used the hospice before and you never know when you’ll suddenly need their help.

‘Working in the NHS I know all too well how stretched people working in health care are – but everyone at Rowans does an incredible job.’

For work friends Steve Holland and Simon Clarke, the walk held a particularly special significance.

Steve, 52 from Hayling Island, said: ‘I left the army after 24 years and in the last 15 months, nine people I know have ended up at the hospice, so it is very close to my heart.

‘It’s the third time we’ve done this together now and it’s always a special event.’

Simon, 27, from Havant, said: ‘It’s good to have so many people involved – it means we can raise so much money to support the work they do.

Walkers at Clarence Esplanade Picture: Vernon Nash (180392-0149)

‘Together we’ve raised £300 and combining everyone’s efforts we can make a huge difference to the charity.

‘Everyone at The Rowans Hospice does a great job so it’s nice to give something back.’

Moonlit Memories walkers Picture: Vernon Nash (180392-0162
The walkers lit candles inside the Portsmouth Anglican Cathedral to remember loved ones Picture: Vernon Nash (180392-0194
Rowans volunteers preparing the candles inside the Portsmouth Anglican Cathedral for walkers to remember loved ones Pictures: Vernon Nash (180392-0213)
Walkers in the Historic Dockyard Picture: Vernon Nash (180392-0280)
Lesley Brunt and Carolyn Morton at The Hot Wwalls at midnight Picture: Vernon Nash (180392-0343)
Cheers at Spice Island Picture: Vernon Nash (180392-0347)