All set for Midnight Walk – with a new way to donate

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HUNDREDS of people will be stepping out in Harrogate this weekend to take part in the Engage Mutual Midnight Walk in aid of Saint Michael’s Hospice.

Up to 1,000 supporters are expected to hit the streets of the town during the early hours of Sunday morning for the 6.5-mile circular walk starting at the Yorkshire Event Centre at the Great Yorkshire Showground.

Saint Michael’s chief executive Tony Collins said: “We’re excited about the Midnight Walk as it is our flagship fundraising event with a fantastic community atmosphere and is always well-attended.”

This year sees the introduction of a texting service to provide well-wishers with a new way of sponsoring the Hornbeam Park-based charity that cares for people living with terminal illness and bereavement.

Mr Collins said: “It is exciting to give our supporters the ability to text donations whether they are taking part on the night or not. There are always people unable to participate but this will enable those disappointed supporters to feel involved in the occasion.”

All people need to do is text MIDW11 and the donation amount to 70070 and it will appear on the phone user’s monthly bill or come out of the customer’s pay-as-you-go credit.

The Justtextgiving facility allows 100 per cent of donations to go to Saint Michael’s with the added 25 per cent Gift Aid also applicable.

First to encourage people to use the new texting service is event sponsor Engage Mutual, which is backing the Midnight Walk for the fourth year in succession.

This year the Harrogate-based financial services mutual has entered a team of 28 walkers and volunteers to raise money and help charity staff with the smooth running of the event.

Chief executive Andrew Haigh, who will be walking the route, said: “The incredible work done by Saint Michael’s in caring for local people is humbling and unquestionably worthy of support.”

Registration for the Midnight Walk is from 10.30pm tomorrow (Saturday) and there will be zumba exercise classes taking place on the main stage followed by a giant group warm-up session to get walkers raring to go before the countdown to midnight begins.

Walkers should expect to take two to four hours to complete the route. For more information telephone 01423 879687.