Record crowds, celebrity support and a galaxy of entertainment look set to have helped raise at least £40,000 in sponsorship and donations for a Chichester charity’s fundraising noctural walk - with hopes of additional support still to come.
Every May, St Wilfrid’s Hospice hosts an overnight Moonlight Walk along five mile and ten mile routes around the city to help pay for specialist end-of-life care to help people who are terminally ill.
The tenth annual Moonlight Walk took place on Saturday night, May 5.
Supported by a thousand-strong crowd, including 80 volunteers, 950 walkers dressed up and put their best foot forward to help the hospice reach its 2018 fundraising target of £100,000.
Their endeavours drew messages of support of numerous stars, from Chichester astronaut Major Tim Peake to Chichester-born singer and songwriter Tom Odell, actor Zoe Wannamaker, TV presenter Charlotte Hawkins, legendary singer, songwriter and astrophysicist Brian May and Strictly star and actor Danny Mac, whose mother is a nurse at the hospice.
The evening was launched with a party-style send-off from 9pm to 10.30pm, featuring a light show and music by Spirit FM DJ Ian Crouch.
Walkers were also given the chance to leave messages to loved ones on a ‘remembrance tree’ before heading off under trees festooned with stars.
To make the most of the big anniversary, the walk included one-off celebration stations.
The celebration stations included the Moonlight Serenade Station featuring cabaret and opera star Amy Fuller, who sang under sparkling lights with her classical cabaret ensemble All That Malarky.
The Starlight Walk station, where walkers were accompanied along Broyle Road by a troupe of luminous stilt walkers, jugglers and fire breathers.
The Final station was the Man on the Moon featuring former acrobalance flier Nikki Kennett drifting in her one-of-kind showglobe.
In addition, the station hosted footage of the original moon landing, presented by Selsey resident and renowned astronomer the late Patrick Moore OBE.
Walkers and supporters also had a chance to take selfies with spacemen and a non-exterminating Dalek.
Tim Peake also spoke to the crowds via a pre-recorded message projected 15 feet high wishing the walkers good luck.
At the finish line, all those taking part were given a light breakfast and massage at the Westgate centre.
St Wilfrid’s Hospice chief executive Alison Moorey said:“There was a wonderful spirit of togetherness as we remembered those we have loved and helped fund raise vital care for people who are terminally ill. Local people are what make both this event and the Hospice so special.