This year the 9th July will mark Peace Hospice Care's 10th and final Starlight Walk.
During the last ten years, the Starlight Walk has raised over £1.4 million for Peace Hospice Care and 2016 looks set to be an extraordinary event.
Gill Crowson, the Community Fundraiser at Peace Hospice Care when the Starlight Walk began, said: "The original idea of a Starlight Walk arose from a regional fundraising meeting. Three nurses from St Luke's Hospice at Winsford in Cheshire had been unable to enter a moonlight walk organised by a Breast Cancer charity, so they decided to organise one for their Hospice. The fundraising team expected about a dozen people to take part, but 500 walkers attended the event, raising more money than anyone had imagined. Inspired by their success, the Peace Hospice emulated their example, raising £125,000 in the first year!
Ms Crowson recalled: "To set up the 13 mile walk, I must have gone around the course about 10 times! 1,100 walkers came to the first Starlight Walk. I remember seeing them set off; the queue stretched across the road and emerged from the underpass."
Since the first Starlight Walk in 2007, Audrey Adams, from Watford, has taken part in the event each year and has signed up for the tenth and final Starlight Walk to complete a decade of devotion for the Hospice.
Audrey said: "I first got involved with the Hospice in 2006 as a volunteer and I have been volunteering ever since. Every year I have signed up for the Starlight Walk. I have some fantastic memories of the event and I really have had such a great time being part of this annual walk for women."
Like Audrey, Karen Price, from Watford has also signed up for the women's only walk this year.
"I've always wanted to give back to Peace Hospice Care for the help and treatment they gave me. So when I saw that it was the final Starlight Walk this year I had to sign up" said Karen.
Ms Price used the Starlight Services available at the Hospice to recover after battling cancer. "After two rounds of chemotherapy and surgery I went to Peace Hospice Care for Reflexology and Reiki to help me recuperate. The care I received was fantastic. I can't stress enough how lovely all their staff were. When you're recovering from intense treatment, it's important to feel supported; that's exactly what they did. They were there for me when I needed them.
"My Starlight Walk team is called 'Karen's Little Helpers' because my friends really helped me while I was ill. Last year we all went on a cruise to celebrate my recovery; and this year we're participating in the walk to thank Peace Hospice Care for all the care they gave me."
To join Audrey, Karen and hundreds of other walkers on the 9thJuly please visit www.peacehospicecare.org.ukor call 01923 335373.
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