Horsham Park was bursting with Brazilian spirit on Saturday when 430 carnival queens walked through the night with the aim of raising £65,000 for St Catherine’s Hospice.
Now in its eighth year, the ladies only Midnight Walk put the ‘fun’ into fundraising with a carnival theme, lively Brazilian entertainment, samba dancers and energetic hula hooping by Britain’s Got Talent semi-finalist, Lisa Sampson of Boogie Hoops.
Walkers really entered into the carnival spirit and could be seen wearing colourful masks, headdresses and costumes as they tackled the seven, 13, or for the most determined amongst them, 20 mile walking routes. Having completed one of St Catherine’s biggest and brightest fundraising challenges they were rewarded with a celebratory breakfast at the finish line.
Each year, St Catherine’s needs to raise £6 million in voluntary donations to provide free care and support to local people facing a terminal illness, their friends and families. Money raised from The Midnight Walk will go a long way towards reaching that total.
Louise Brown, Events Fundraiser at St Catherine’s, said: “Seeing our incredible carnival queens walking across Horsham throughout the night was truly amazing.
“They fully embraced our new carnival theme and we’re really grateful that so many local women came out to support St Catherine’s. What’s more, many of our Midnight Walkers are taking on our £300 fundraising challenge and we’re really looking forward to seeing them wearing their exclusive Midnight Walk hoodies when they complete it.”
This year’s event was sponsored by Capital IFX. Faz Fazeli, Managing Director, said: “St Catherine’s Hospice provides vital end of life care for people across Sussex and Surrey, making a huge difference at an incredibly important time. We couldn’t be happier to have sponsored this year’s Midnight Walk.”
Carnival queen, Naomi Davies walked seven miles in memory of her husband, Ken, who died under St Catherine’s care. She said, “St Catherine’s has made a huge difference to my whole family. As well as helping to make sure Ken wasn’t in pain so he could really make the most of his time with us, they really took into account the impact that Ken’s illness would have on me and my two boys - even helping him to make a memory box so that the boys could remember him.
“That’s why I particularly wanted to take part in the Midnight Walk – to give back. I was a little bit apprehensive of the challenge, it’s a long way to walk, but I did it with friends and it was really good fun. The atmosphere was fantastic and the carnival theme was so elaborate and involving, I’m really glad I took part.”
If you or someone you know took part in the Midnight Walk, see if you made it into our Facebook gallery here; http://www.facebook.com/stcatherinesmidnightwalk.
Report and pictures contributed by St Catherine’s Hospice.