THERE is no greater source of strength than unity in the name of a common cause.
That was the message on Sunday when dozens of slimmers rallied to raise more than £1,000 for Cancer Research UK.
The charity feat saw 115 members of Slimming World groups in Havant and the surrounding areas descend on Staunton Country Park for the debut Walk All Over Cancer.
Boasting a scenic 1.5km course, the initiative pooled together donations and months of sponsorship as revellers – many of whom met for the first time – enjoyed a stroll in memory of friends and loved ones lost to the disease, as well as those who fought it and won.
Slimming World consultant Zoe King runs five groups on a Thursday at St Francis Church in Leigh Park and played a role in organising the fixture.
She lost her auntie to breast cancer just six weeks ago, but hailed the cathartic nature of Sunday’s walk for those who attended.
‘It was amazing. People were walking along and happily talking to complete strangers about how cancer had affected their lives,’ the 42-year-old said.
‘There were people there who had previously lost family members and at least one or two survivors as well.
‘It was a beautiful morning and considering it was our first go I’d say it was a great success.’
As well as opening up about cancer, walkers took time to celebrate the weight they had lost since joining their respective Slimming World groups.
Zoe said: ‘One thing we asked everyone to do was to write down their overall weight loss since they signed up – and the grand total came to 236 stone.
‘There were five other consultants at the walk and this number made us all extremely proud to do what we do.’
Already, organisers are looking ahead to next year’s event – which they say could feature a picnic or barbecue of Slimming World-friendly goodies.
In the meantime however, Zoe gave a ‘huge thanks’ to walkers and her fellow organisers, consultants Marie Hough, Carla Davison, Chantelle Brown, Sarah Pycroft and Rachel Reid.