Sisters were doing it for themselves last Saturday night in Horsham Park in a bid to raise more than £85,000 for St Catherine’s Hospice in Crawley.
On the hottest night of the year, more than 600 women swapped their sweet dreams for neon glo-sticks and crimped hair as they stepped out in true 1980s fashion for the charity’s specially themed fundraising walk.
This year participants could choose from a seven mile route or the traditional half marathon course – which in the last six years has raised a ‘steptacular’ £700,000 to ensure local families and their loved ones are supported and cared for at their end of life.
Davina McCall’s personal trainer Jackie Wren – sporting some incredible silver spandex shorts – was on hand to put the walkers through their paces in a special warm up which made sure the women were all footloose before the go-go.
Amy Spencer, from Horsham, who channelled her inner Cyndi Lauper with shocking pink hair, said: “I’ve never done anything like this before. When I was a baby, both my nan and grandad were in the hospice and my uncle was cared for by St Catherine’s a couple of years ago.
“Everybody knows somebody who has been touched by their care. They always help and it’s such a good cause.”
Jennifer Dance, HR manager at Horsham’s South Lodge Hotel, who have chosen St Catherine’s as a charity of the year, said: “We’re very much looking forward to the laughs along the way – and finishing in a blaze of glory.”
First to finish from the seven mile route were mother and daughter Lucy and Freya Mackins from Horsham.
Lucy said: “This is my third walk. I see what St Catherine’s do and I think it’s a fantastic job and I want to give something back.
“I feel really happy for finishing. As it was Freya’s first time, we opted for the seven mile route.”
Freya added: “I really enjoyed the walk, I feel very proud as I’ve raised £125. I’m doing it for my grandad as he was cared for there.”
Jen Wickham, event organiser from St Catherine’s Hospice, said: “We’re so proud that so many ladies embraced the 80s theme this year. We’ve had some incredible outfits including a human twister board and some kids from Fame – though the weather was so good you probably didn’t need your leg warmers!
“Every penny raised is going to help fund vital care for local people facing up to life with the uncertainty of a terminal diagnosis, so it’s fantastic to know all this fun and fundraising will add up to make real difference.
“We’d like to thank our sponsors Welland Medical, South Sussex RAYNET for keeping track of our walkers, Red Cross, Horsham District Council, Jackie Wren, all our volunteers and everyone who got into the spirit.
“We enjoyed ourselves so much a theme could become an annual event so watch this space.”
For more information visit www.stch.org.uk or find St Catherine’s Hospice, Crawley on Facebook and like the page for regular updates.
Tell us your story, why were you taking part? Email firstname.lastname@example.org