Midnight Walk launched today

WOMEN across the county are today urged to get on their walking shoes and head into the darkness for charity.

SUFFOLK: Women across the county are today urged to get on their walking shoes and head into the darkness for charity.

St Elizabeth Hospice is officially launching its annual Midnight Walk event today supported by The Evening Star, and as many people as possible are encouraged to take part.

BBC Look East presenter Susie Fowler-Watt will be helping to launch the start of the online registration for the event and will be meeting patients at the hospice.

The eight-mile circular walk starts from Ipswich Town Football Club, in Portman Road, around midnight on Saturday, May 22, and is expected to raise thousands of pounds.

Susie said: “I am a supporter of the work St Elizabeth Hospice does and the Midnight Walk is their biggest fundraising event of the year. Last year 2,300 women took part and this year it is going to be even bigger and better with a new start venue, Ipswich Town Football Club.

“Every penny raised will really make a difference to the support the Hospice gives to its patients, their families and carers throughout East Suffolk.”

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Janice Hulett, from St Elizabeth Hospice, said: “Last year ladies taking part in our Midnight Walk raised around �230,000 for St Elizabeth Hospice and this year we hope to exceed that target.”

Walkers are encouraged to wear fancy dress and will be kept entertained and motivated all the way. Closing date for registration is Friday, April 23.

The registration fee is �15 and includes a Midnight Walk T-shirt to wear on the night, refreshments en route and a goody bag.

The Midnight Walk is also supported by the Star's sister papers, East Anglian Daily Times and Star Advertiser.

St Elizabeth Hospice, an independent charity which costs �5.9 million a year to run, aims to improve the quality of life for people in East Suffolk who have an illness from which they will not recover.

For more information about Midnight Walk 2010 call 01473 707043 or e-mail midnightwalk@stelizabethhospice.org.uk. Women can register online now at www.midnightwalkipswich.co.uk

Are you taking part this year for a special reason? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

THIS will be the second time mum of three, Nicola Frost, has signed up for the event but this year is set to be even more poignant.

Mrs Frost's brother, David Cobbold, from Ipswich, was diagnosed with non Hodgkin's lymphoma (a type of cancer) last year for the fourth time in nine years. It was a huge blow to the whole family as this time, it was an aggressive form of cancer, and he was told he would need a stem cells transplant to survive.

He is set to receive the lifesaving transplant at Addenbrooke's Hospital, in Cambridge, at the end of this month.

Mrs Frost, 34, of Ravenswood Avenue, Ipswich, said: “I did the walk last year and fancied doing it again. This year will be more poignant. If David doesn't have this transplant, he wouldn't have any further treatment and would have palliative care and care at the hospice.

“The hospice does mean a lot to us. We have been plagued by cancer in the family and so I think raising money for the hospice is a worthy cause. David has coped with it better than everyone else. It has taken its toll.”

Mrs Frost will be embarking on the walk with her niece, Stacey, and sister, Jackie, and they hope to raise more than �100.

Click here to visit the Ipswich Midnight Walk websiteClick here to visit the Ipswich Midnight Walk websiteClick here to visit the Ipswich Midnight Walk website