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The beautiful sight appeared after the last of a few showers, as 350 supporters enjoyed the sounds of Sevenoaks’ Rock Choir and took part in a Zumba-style warm up from Pembury Fitness to help send them off on the circular route through beautiful Knole Park and Sevenoaks.
Moonlight Walk, kindly sponsored by Savills, is an opportunity for families and friends to come together to remember loved ones, with many of the 350 walkers wearing memorial stars which they placed on our candlelit memory board on their return to the event village. This year’s event has raised more than £22,000 for the Hospice.
Walkers were greeted by the young daughters of Hospice staff who gave out pin badges as they crossed a bridge glistening with fairy lights to mark the end of the Walk. The family event was enjoyed by those of all ages, with the youngest participant at just six weeks old, and many walkers being accompanied by canine friends adorned with their very own doggy Hospice bandanas.
Food and refreshments were enjoyed en-route and at the event village, provided by Dessert Heaven and Martin Pizza, while The Anchor Pub welcomed all those who completed the route with a free drink.
Taking part for the first time this year was Josh Davies and his family, walking in memory of his mum Sarah Davies, who was cared for at the Hospice in Pembury before her death in August last year, aged just 57. Accompanied by Sarah’s husband Martin, (Leah’s step-dad), and Sarah’s three children Leah, Joshua and Libie, along with Leah’s husband Sam, the group wore colourful outfits to reflect Sarah’s love of life.
Josh, who with his family has raised almost £800 for the Hospice with funds still coming in, said: “The Hospice staff were absolutely amazing. They are so understanding, they looked after everything, so we could just spend quality time with Mum. My dad’s mum was also cared for at the Hospice a few years ago, so after the amazing care our Mum had too, we all wanted to give something back. The Walk was great, although we are all still aching from those hills! We spotted that rainbow straight away, we couldn’t believe it. We definitely think it’s a sign!”
Lee Gasson, who signed up for the first time this year after losing her mum Janet to lung cancer in March, has so far raised more than £1,300.
“It’s not an exaggeration to say that the Hospice and its staff were like angels holding my hand through the entire experience,” said Lee, of Edenbridge. ”I wanted to take part to remember my mum and because I was desperate to give something back as a way of saying thank you.”
Claire Pring, of Tonbridge, who has walked the route many times in memory of her mum Maureen (Brindley) who was cared for by the Hospice, was delighted Moonlight Walk had returned for the first time since 2019. Claire, who walked with friend Tracey donning colourful wigs and fairy wings, said: “It’s been great to do Moonlight Walk again. I will take part, for as long as the Hospice holds the Walk, in memory of my lovely mum.”
Lou Wardle, Head of Fundraising at Hospice in the Weald said:
“We’d like to thank everyone who took part for their enthusiasm, their fantastic costumes and for raising in excess of £22,000, with donations still coming in. Thanks also to Savills, Sevenoaks Town Council and to all the other organisations and our wonderful volunteers who supported the event. Every penny raised will help Hospice in the Weald make a vital difference to those facing terminal illness and their loved ones.”
Michael Wooldridge, head of office at Savills, Sevenoaks, says:
“We were immensely proud to once again sponsor the Moonlight Walk and highlight the invaluable, around-the-clock care that Hospice in the Weald provide throughout the region. It was brilliant to see so many people supporting such a special event. As a business with a long history in the local area we are always keen to support initiatives such as the Moonlight Walk and our huge thanks must go to Hospice in the Weald for organising the walk and for the fantastic work they do.”
Find out more about the Hospice’s upcoming fundraising events, including Hospice Run on 18th September.
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