Midnight walkers raise charity cash

WOMEN are usually advised not to go on midnight walks through the town's parks - but when there are 136 of you and a police escort, it should be fine!

Tom Potter

WOMEN are usually advised not to go on midnight walks through the town's parks - but when there are 136 of you and a police escort, it should be fine!

And when your efforts help to raise thousands of pounds for charity, it all makes for a very special night out.

The orange-clad fundraisers were joined by fire performers and stilt walkers on a midnight walk to generate vital funds for a Sue Ryder Care.

The ten kilometre hike took place mainly in Chantry Park, raising funds to help people across the UK living with conditions including cancer, multiple sclerosis, brain injury and Huntington's disease.

The glow in the dark theme helped walkers make their way in the dark, with fire performers and stilt walkers to entertain participants on route.

Most Read

The walk began and ended at Gala Bingo in Orwell Retail Park, passing along Ranelagh Road, with walkers completing a 10k circuit mainly based in Chantry Park, the home of Sue Ryder Care.

Everyone who took part received a T-shirt, glow in the dark bracelet and a goodie bag on the finishing line.

Pierson McKenzie, a fund-raiser for Sue Ryder Care who helped to organise the walk, said everyone taking part seemed to enjoy themselves - despite the late hour.

He said: “It was terrific. We had women of all ages, from 13-year-old girls to an 89-year-old in a wheelchair.

“We had police and community support officers on hand to close Hadleigh Road for a time while the walk moved off and people did a couple of circuits of the park before returning to Gala's car park.

“Gala and Sainsburys were great - they provided juice, croissants, tea and coffee when the walkers finished at about 2am.”

A total of 136 women took part in the walk - all wearing distinctive orange tee-shirts which stood out in the middle of the night.

“It was a really good event. It was the first time we had organised anything like this and it worked better than we could have dared hope,” Mr McKenzie said.

“Of course the weather helped - but all in all it was a great success.”

Sue Ryder Care:-

Based in Sudbury it was founded by Baroness Sue Ryder to care for people with long-term illnesses or injuries.

The Chantry is one of a number of homes it runs across the country - but it also cares for people in their own homes.

Sue Ryder Care helps care for people with Multiple Sclerosis, Huntington's Disease, Parkinson's Disease, Stroke, Brain Injury and Cancer.

The Midnight Walk for Sue Ryder Care follows a similar successful event for the St Elizabeth Hospice around Ipswich town centre earlier this year.