Monday, 04 July 2016

Peace Hospice Care's Starlight Walk has been an annual event enjoyed by women from in and around Watford for the past nine years.

This year will be the 10th year of the Walk and also the final Starlight Walk.

The idea behind the walk came from 3 nurses at St Luke's Hospice in Cheshire who were unable to attend the Moonlight Walk in London, so they decided to ask their fundraising team to organise their own night time walk, which proved to be a success. Inspired by the idea, Gill Crowson, who was Peace Hospice Care's Community Fundraiser at the time, brought the idea to Peace Hospice Care.

Gill said: "We weren't sure how much interest we would have for the walk, so we set a target for £50,000 to be raised, but that was exceeded easily!

"Watching all the walkers set off was quite emotional but extremely rewarding for everyone involved."

Linda Topping was asked by June Arnold, who was the was the Lady Captain at West Herts Golf Club at the time, to help the Hospice organise the Starlight Walk and as a result became chair of the Starlight Walk organising committee. She was instrumental in the success of the event, which resulted in 1,100 women taking part in the Starlight Walk's first year and smashing its £50,000 target.

Linda said: "Raising money for Hospice Care is something that is close to my heart. I remember cycling and driving around the original route to check that it worked and to look for hazards and pot holes.

"On the evening we also had a lot of help from volunteers from the West Herts and Chorleywood Golf Club, BNI Junction and people from across Watford; it was great to see the community coming together for the Hospice. I was the first to cross the finishing line, which is something I am still proud of. I'd strongly urge people to get involved in the Walk; it's a great experience!

"If you would like to get more involved with Peace Hospice Care, why not volunteer for them? There are so many ladies with talents that the Hospice could really use."

In 2011 the Starlight Walk was awarded the Mayor's Special Achievement Audentior Award, which is an award that recognises and celebrates outstanding dedication shown by organisations and individuals in Watford.

Since the first walk in June 2007, the Starlight Walk has raised £1.4 million for Peace Hospice Care. This year, for the 10thand final Starlight Walk, Peace Hospice Care are asking the community to once again come together and ensure that the Starlight Walk goes out with the bang!

To join the final Starlight Walk please visit the event page or call 01923 335373.