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Star Walkers support Saint Francis Hospice with energetic 10k night walk

PUBLISHED: 15:00 25 September 2018

Residents begin the Star Walk for Saint Francis Hospice on Saturday, September 22.

Residents begin the Star Walk for Saint Francis Hospice on Saturday, September 22.

Archant

More than 200 volunteers donned T-shirts, trainers and tiaras to take part in a 10k night walk for Saint Francis Hospice.

The annual Star Walk around Romford started and finished at the Liberty Shopping Centre on Saturday, September 22.

The Only Way is Essex star Georgia Kousoulou added a touch of glamour with her personal trainer Danny-Lee Finch as together they helped the hospice’s supporters warm up.

Juliette Whittaker, the hospice’s fundraising event organiser, said: “A huge thank you to all our lovely Star Walkers who came on Saturday night to support Saint Francis Hospice.

“Despite the rain, the atmosphere of our 10th birthday Star Walk was amazing.”

Serena Hughes with her family at Saint Francis Hospice's Star Walk on Saturday, September 22.Serena Hughes with her family at Saint Francis Hospice's Star Walk on Saturday, September 22.

Councillor Dilip Patel, the mayor of Havering, gave a special welcome in the evening and Corinna Midgley, the hospice’s medial director, thanked everyone for helping make a different to people affected by life-limiting illnesses.

As walkers completed each lap, Romford firefighters stamped their hands.

Julie Tointon-Mahandru, from Hornchurch, was the first to pass the finish line with her sister Jane Tointon.

“Taking part in the yearly Saint Francis Hospice Star Walk is invigorating and thoroughly enjoyable, but the knowledge that we are giving back, through our kind sponsors, and making a difference, is what drives us to do it and we will continue to do so,” said Julie, whose husband Dee was cared for at the hospice in Havering-atte-Bower.

The mayor of Havering with Sophie and Leyla at Saint Francis Hospice's Star Walk.The mayor of Havering with Sophie and Leyla at Saint Francis Hospice's Star Walk.

Toni Cordell from Natty Cakes donated a customised three tier cake to celebrate the Star Walk’s 10th anniversary.

Teenage busker Josh Gleaves and supporter Skip Atkins, were positioned along the route to play a variety of well-known hits to encourage the walkers.

As they passed the finish line, everyone was greeted with a huge round of applause and a medal.

Salli Hope Bennett spent the last weeks of her life at the hospice. Her husband Howard and daughter Amanda Green took part in her memory.

Sophie, Georgia and Leyla at the Star Walk for Saint Francis Hospice on Saturday, September 22.Sophie, Georgia and Leyla at the Star Walk for Saint Francis Hospice on Saturday, September 22.

Their team name was Walking with Hope and they were joined by Amanda’s husband Stuart, son Matt and her friends Jo Baker and Chris Gentle and Chris’ son Finlay.

“I loved being part of the Saint Francis Hospice Star Walk for the second time,” said, Amanda from South Woodford.

“There was a great uplifting atmosphere even on a drizzly, chilly night.

“It was wonderful to be able to fundraise and give back for the amazing care my mum was given.

“Thanks to all the organisers, staff and volunteers there on the night.”

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