Night owls raise thousands for hospice

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HUNDREDS of people became night owls as they stepped out to raise thousands of pounds for a much-loved charity.

Around 320 charity champions turned out for Hartlepool and District Hospice’s fifth annual Midnight Walk.

Walkers of different ages, including groups in fancy dress, are hoping to have added to the £230,000 which has been raised for the Wells Avenue-based facility from previous walks.

The kind-hearted participants were sponsored to walk more than five miles from Hartlepool’s Maritime Experience to Seaton Carew Golf Club and back.

The nocturnal walk took just over two hours to complete.

Freddie Mercury impersonator Billy West and former X Factor contestant Tessa Dollin entertained the crowds and Jean Welsh led a fitness warm-up, which saw special constable Jeff Drake, a regular face at the Midnight Walk, limbering up alongside the walkers.

The hospice’s events and community facilitator, Greg Hildreth, said: “It was a brilliant atmosphere.

“There were lots of families and lots of people walking in memory of loved ones.

“We will have to see what the final fundraising figure is once sponsorship money comes in.”

Mr Hildreth thanked everyone who took part or volunteered, as well as Tata Steel, Cleveland Police, Hartlepool Maritime Experience, Hartlepool College of Further Education, The Red Cross and refreshment providers.

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