THOUSANDS of pounds is expected to have been raised for Hartlepool’s hospice after hundreds of women hit the streets in a night-time walk.
A total of 330 women of all ages joined in the first Moonlight Walk staged by Hartlepool & District Hospice.
Many had their own tragic stories of losing loved ones who were helped by the care and compassion of the town’s hospice.
Organisers say the event is set to make £26,000 for the hospice based in Wells Avenue.
Saturday night’s walk was a new twist on its Midnight Walk which has been held in town for the last five years and was the hospice’s biggest fundraiser of the year.
Greg Hildreth, events and community facilitator, said: “We were delighted with the turnout which was up slightly on last year.
“We have been doing these walks for the last six years and the atmosphere was as good as ever if not better.
“It was great to see everybody coming out to support us. There were some new faces as well as the regulars who take part in every walk.”
Walkers gathered on the crisp night at Hartlepool Maritime Experience.
Fitness instructor Jean Walsh warmed everyone up with an aerobic workout alongside special police constable Jeff Drake.
At 10pm they all strode off into the night along the promenade to Seaton Carew Golf Club before turning round.
Many lit up the night sky wearing flashing bunny ears sold by the hospice, while others went further donning full fancy dress.
After completing the five-and-a-half-mile route, they relaxed with a hot supper back at Hartlepool Maritime Experience and everyone was awarded a medal.
Greg added: “It was a fantastic night and we are hoping to raise £26,000 in sponsorship.
“It is our biggest organised event. Fortunately, the moon did come out and lived up to the name of the event.
“I would like to thank everybody who supported the night and made it such a special occasion.”
The money raised will fund patient care and specialist palliative services which the hospice provides free to the people of Hartlepool and East Durham.
Next year’s walk has already been fixed for September 7.
Booking is not yet open but people can register their interest now with Greg by contacting him on (01429) 855529 or email Greg Hildreth.