Record-breakers! Meet the walkers who smashed their target on a sponsored ramble for a Hartlepool charity

Walkers get ready for the off
Walkers get ready for the off

Take a bow. You did brilliantly.

That was the message to these walkers who tackled a sponsored three-mile route yesterday to raise money for Hartlepool & District Hospice.

Walkers in full stride on the charity event

Walkers in full stride on the charity event

The annual event, organised by Peterlee and District Lions Club, always attracts strong support. Officials were hoping to smash through the £10,000 total raised for the hospice in the last five years.

But they were stunned when the total went above £11,000 thanks to the £1,831 so far raised on the 2016 walk. The final figure for this year is expected to reach £2,400.

And this year's event was so popular, passers-by who spotted what was going on even asked to be included in next year's event!

It all brought delight to Tommy Miller, who is a founder member of the Lions branch and also dad of former Hartlepool United midfielder Tommy Miller junior.

Staff and family from Lloyds Bank in Peterlee en route in the charity walk.

Staff and family from Lloyds Bank in Peterlee en route in the charity walk.

He said: "It went very well. We hoped to break through the £10,000 barrier and we are at £11,100 raised over the last five years for the hospice."

Like every other year, ramblers started at the Hearts of Oak pub in Oakerside Drive, Peterlee. The three-mile route took walkers through the beautiful scenery of Castle Eden Dene.

This year's fundraiser was held in memory of Carol Withers whose daughter Tracey has the Hearts of Oak pub, where £590 was added to the total.

There was so much interest in this year's walk that 11 people - who could not take part at the weekend - did it a week early to make sure they contributed.

Raising much-needed funds for Hartlepool & District Hospice

Raising much-needed funds for Hartlepool & District Hospice

Another £230 was raised at Mecca Bingo during a bucket collection.

Tommy added: "People have been absolutely brilliant. Forty two did it over the two weekends and there are a lot of people to thank.

"We also met a couple of people who were going for a walk and asked if they could come down next year."

He praised Peter and Tracey Webster from the Hearts of Oak who backed the event and provided a starting and finishing point, Liam Dineen from Box Clever who provided stewards and walkie talkies, and Steve Metcalfe from Natural England who acted as the guide on the walk.

Hospice fundraiser Greg Hildreth said; "“As ever, this was another lovely event organised by the Lions and great to see so many people taking part. On behalf of the Hospice, I would like to thank everyone who supported this event and made it such a successful and enjoyable day.

"Everything raised will be used to fund our specialist patient care services which we offer free of charge to the people of Hartlepool and East Durham.”