MORE than 1,000 people stepped out on the weekend Twilight Walk in Ipswich to raise tens of thousands of pounds for the Treehouse children’s hospice.

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Saturday evening’s event saw hundreds of families take part in the three-mile walk from Copleston High School to the Treehouse, finishing in the hospice garden which had been transformed into “Neverland” for the night complete with crocodiles, pirates, and fairies.

Youngsters, and their families, were encouraged to dress up in Peter Pan-style costumes – leaving more pirates on the streets of Ipswich than you would find in the average Johnny Depp film!

Organisers have received firm pledges of £20,000 in sponsorship, but hope that the final figure will be much higher than that.

Camilla Haycock from East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) said: “It was a tremendous event. The weather was very kind and we had a wonderful response.

“We had asked people to dress up, and most people could not resist coming in costume – that applied to the adults as well as the children.”

The walk was a real family affair.

“We had so many families taking part – children, parents and grandparents. The walk started at 6pm and the first to cross the finishing line at the Treehouse was at about 7.20pm.

“Many children did complete the course, which was just over three miles – but quite a few finished up in buggies or on dad’s shoulders!”

Ms Haycock said the children’s involvement was crucial: “Lots of people said they had come because the youngsters really wanted to do something for children less fortunate than themselves. It really was a family event.”

This was the Twilight Walk’s second year and the number of people involved increased by about 200 – it is now likely to become a regular event, and there are similar walks also organised by the hospice in Cambridge and Lowestoft.

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