Last Saturday 508 families, friends and colleagues braved the rain and wind to walk eight miles in memory and celebration of their loved ones and to show their support for their local Hospice.
The Moonlit Walk is one of the Hospice’s flagship events and is a celebration of life. Walkers embellished and decorated their T-shirts, kindly sponsored by Kings Hill developer Liberty Property Trust and wrote special messages on the Hospice Memory Wall.
Many walkers chose to have their face painted and lit up the streets with flashing bunny ears and neon glow sticks. The walk started at Heart of Kent Hospice, where many walkers enjoyed a pre-walk glass of bubbles from Double Bubble and joined in the energetic warm up routine, by Louise from Dance Dynamics. There was even a ‘best dressed’ competition – with four winners receiving tickets to the Hospice’s Fashion Show on 17 October.
As illuminated walkers left the Hospice, the sight was both spectacular and very moving. Walkers set off along the A20 through Aylesford, Ditton and Larkfield where they received encouraging toots and the opportunity to dance to loud music from passing cars. They continued through Leybourne and into West Malling where Hospice shop volunteers, had cold drinks and chocolate brownies kindly donated by The Hungry Guest, ready and waiting at the halfway point.
After a brief stop, walkers headed off down Swan Street and then entered the cross country mile. Thanks to John and the Culverstone and Vigo scouts, walkers crossed the muddy field amidst a sea of tealights and handheld lights to light their path, emerging at the Lunsford Lane Lights to pick up the A20 for the last stretch back to the Hospice.
As walkers came back to the Hospice they were greeted with cheers, welcome smiles, a hot drink and delicious homemade cake, by just some of the many volunteers who gave up their time to make it such a memorable night.
Events Manager, Erica Snow said, "it was so moving to see so many people braving the miserable weather to support Heart of Kent Hospice, and remember their loved ones. So far, they have raised a phenomenal £15,000; with donations still being made, we anticipate this figure to rise.
Every step they walked, and every pound and penny our walkers raise will make a huge difference to patients, their families and carers in our community. I want to say a huge thank you to our dedicated volunteers on the night - many stood in the rain at Marshal points for many hours and our walkers said how amazing they all were. We really couldn't run this event and our other events without them. Thank you! !'d also like to say thank you to all the companies that donated water, chocolate brownies and supported our Moonlit Walk - this partnership working is vital."