SLIDESHOW: Harrogate Star Walk

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Over 850 people took part in this event which helped raise thousands of pounds for charity. Report by Claire Voden.

Unseasonal weather did not dampen the spirits of Star Walkers who took to the streets of Harrogate to raise money for Saint Michael’s Hospice.

NADV 1306241AM19 St Michael's Hospice Midnight Walk. (1306241AM19)

NADV 1306241AM19 St Michael's Hospice Midnight Walk. (1306241AM19)

More than 850 people picked up their brollies as well as their walking boots, fancy dress and big smiles to take part in the first ever Star Walk event.

Between them they raised thousands of pounds for the hospice which supports people with terminal illness and their families.

So far the amount is thought to be in the region of £50,000 - a huge boost towards the £3.8m needed each year to maintain the charity’s services.

Organisers are now urging walkers to return their sponsorship as soon as possible so the final amount can be announced.

Tony Collins, chief executive of the hospice said it was wonderful to have such good support from the local community.

“Every penny raised by our Star Walkers will help us to continue to provide specialist care and support to local people living with terminal illness and bereavement and so I urge people to return their sponsorship as soon as possible so we can put it to use,” said Mr Collins.

“Our heartfelt thanks go out to the walkers, volunteers and supporters who helped to make the Star Walk such a great event,” he added.

Starting from St Aidan’s School, on Oatlands Drive, Harrogate, the walkers completed either a 5km or 10km route around the town centre.

They were supported by a host of local businesses, including sponsors Engage Mutual, who handed out refreshments, balloons and encouragement from special cheering stations along the route.

Among the walkers completing the 10km route was nine-year-old Jacob Stamp.

Jacob, who was walking in memory of his uncle, said: “It was really fun; the best bit was the obstacle course and the chocolate brownies. I thought about my uncle as I walked around.”

Beverley Robinson, from Harrogate, was joined on

the walk by group of friends and family.

Mother of two, Beverley, said: “We’re walking in memory of my dad, who was cared for by Saint Michael’s.

“The hospice is very close to our hearts, and so it’s been lovely to come out and do something so positive for such a good cause.”

Five members of the Banerjee family, from Harrogate, walked the 10km route in memory of a family friend who had been cared for by the Hornbeam Park-based hospice.

Amelia Banerjee, 15, a student at Ashville College, said: “It’s been a brilliant night.

“Walking towards the candle bags all lit up was such a special moment.”

Seventeen-year-old Ellie Rymer took part in the event with a group of 20 friends who raised more than £2,300 to support the hospice that cared for Ellie’s mum in the last days of her life.

Ellie said, “There’s been a fantastic atmosphere all the way around the route, nobody has let the rain dampen their spirits.

“It’s absolutely amazing knowing that we’ve raised so much money for Saint Michael’s and that anther family will be able to receive the same care and support that we did.”

To find out more about the hospice visit the website www.saintmichaelshopsice.org or call 01423 879687.