Hospice tickled pink as walk raises £85,000

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The Pink Panther, tutu wearing marathon runners, celebrity walkers and the odd penguin all took part in the county’s biggest and pinkest midnight walk on Saturday night to raise money for the Hospice of St Francis,

Around 800 people, including the Gazette’s deputy editor Wes Smith, formed a sea of pink to take part in either a five-mile or 11-mile walk. raising around £85,000 so far.

Kings Langley runner Matthew Loddy, who recently ran 100 marathons in 100 days to help raise money for the hospice, gave the crowd his support and urged walkers to do their bit for the charity.

He said: “I woke up that morning and felt a little stiff so went out and did a marathon to warm me up. The walk was tough on my hips – I just can’t walk very well, but we all did it and we are elated. It has been an honour to be here. “

Jan Foo, managing director of Fine and Country, Berkhamsted, presented Fran Martin, one of the event organisers, with a cheque for £2,500, a donation she regularly makes to support the event by paying for the much coveted pink T-shirts.

One of the biggest teams walking was a group of 30, all in memory of Sarah Ketteridge, a young mum who died at the hospice in April this year.

Friend Jane Scattergood, who works at Parkwood Surgery, in HEmel Hempstead, said: “It’s the first time we have done the walk but we are all here together tonight, along with Sarah’s little girl, to do our bit. We’re honoured to do our bit.”

First over the line from the 11-milers was Phoebe and Steph Collier, aged 14, from Cavendish School, in Hemel Hempstead.

They walked in memory of their granddad. Phoebe’s Dad Steve, who has been first walker to finish for several years, said he was thrilled to pass the honour over to his daughter and her friend.

Event organiser Emma Day, said: “What a spectacular night! We are delighted that so many people gave up a whole night’s sleep and have raised much needed funds for the hospice”

GP and hospice director Dr Ros Taylor was present through the evening, welcoming walkers back and presenting them with their medals. She said: “It’s been a great night and the enthusiasm and energy has been immense. Thanks to everyone who has taken part.”

To see more pictures from the night go to the hospice’s Facebook page.

For a video from the night, visit our website at www.hemeltoday.co.uk