Supporters walk in memory of loved ones and to raise money for 'amazing' Rowans Hospice
SUPPORTERS walked in memory of loved ones and to raise money for an ‘amazing’ charity.
On Saturday evening Rowans Hospice hosted its first major fundraising event in 18 months - the Moon and Stars Memory Walk.
Around 150 people took part in the walk, walking three, six or nine miles whilst being cheered on during their journey from Castle Field, through Southsea to Old Portsmouth, Portsmouth Cathedral and back to where they started.
Debbie Pick, Rowans associate fundraising and marketing manager, said they had to stagger start times in order to comply with Covid restrictions - but said it was ‘good to be back’ after 18 months.
‘It was good to see lots of people again and see the support from everyone,’ she said. ‘The atmosphere was not the same as normal because we couldn’t have everyone together at the start.
‘But it was a good turnout of people who were cheered on by our marshalls. We also had the Spinnaker Chorus performing three songs every half an hour and a big samba band.
‘People were able to stop off and leave a candle in Portsmouth Cathedral where they could reflect on loved ones.
‘It was good to get the bond back with so many there who we have not seen for 18 months. Everyone was in good spirits and were glad to be out. It was a bit windy but the sunset was amazing. Hopefully we’ll raise about £10,000.’
The event also saw a virtual walk where people walked from their own front doors.
Paulsgrove resident Kirsty Clover completed around seven miles on the virtual walk with family members as they walked in memory of the 31-year-old’s mum Linda Ford.
‘It was a good atmosphere and the kids enjoyed it. It was good to take part for the first time and walk in memory of my mum who passed away this year,’ she said. ‘It was nice to do it for her.
‘The walk went well but I was feeling it afterwards.’
Paulsgrove mum Katie Rollings completed nine miles with her 15-month-old son and her mum in around three-and-a-half hours.
‘It was quieter than usual with the atmosphere different to normal years at the start of the walk but it was still special,’ the 32-year-old said.
‘Everyone is there for their own reason and it is very emotional at the start.
‘We were walking for my aunt who passed away three years ago. What Rowans did for her in her final days was amazing. We are so grateful.
‘They are a very special charity and it was nice to help raise money for them. It must have been difficult for them with all the sponsorship opportunities they have missed out on during the pandemic.’
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To donate go to: www.justgiving.com/campaign/moonstarswalk