COUNTY NEWS PICTURE GALLERY: Midnight Walk for Chestnut Tree
More than 550 women walked through the night on Saturday (May 20) in aid of Chestnut Tree children's hospice, raising a grand total of Â£62,288.
This year’s event in Eastbourne saw the introduction of a new 15 mile Urban Trek, a challenge that some 150 ladies took on.
The five and 10 mile routes around Sovereign Harbour and the seafront were also popular, with walkers dressing to impress, covering themselves with bright flashing lights, crazy wigs and tutus.
Among the sea of lights, there were smurfs, chickens and even a clown, all taking part and raising money for Chestnut Tree.
The tone of the night was set by DJ Millsy from More Radio, who entertained the gathering crowd and ensured everyone was in high spirits before setting off. Kathryn from MckFitness in Eastbourne led a rousing warm up after the High Sherriff of East Sussex, Maureen Chowen, spoke to the ladies about how important the Night to Remember event is for Chestnut Tree House.
“Your continued support in raising funds at Night to Remember is vital,” she told the walkers before they set off.
“We are caring for children with life-shortening conditions in communities across Sussex, making the support we have had tonight from people across the county all the more important and special.”
Ladies took on their five, 10 and 15 mile challenges for a whole host of reasons.
Zoe Gilbert from Sompting has taken part in every Night to Remember since it began eight years ago, in memory of her son Connor who was cared for at Chestnut Tree in his last days.
“We’ve taken on the 15 miles this year,” she said before they set off. “We’ve got a team of five and we’re feeling good and ready to go.”
Teams also walked in memory of Jacob Nutt from Bexhill and Nancy and Nora from Hurstpierpoint.
Others were walking for fitness, for a challenge or simply to share a great night with friends.
“I did the walk three years ago and thought it would be a great night for all of us,” says Fran, who walked with colleagues from Jumping Beans pre-school in Eastbourne.
Linda Perry from Chestnut Tree said, “As ever, the ladies of Sussex have come together to raise a phenomenal amount for Chestnut Tree, enough to cover the costs of 26 days of all of Chestnut Tree’s care in the community, caring for families in their own homes across East and West Sussex and south east Hampshire.
“We would like to say a huge thank you to all the ladies who took part, and the army of 200 volunteers – men and women - without whom we would not be able to run this event. Your fundraising and volunteering efforts really will make a huge difference to
local children with life-shortening conditions and their families.
“Thanks also go to the amazing local businesses which have supported this event. There are too many to mention, but they have helped us with everything from bottles of water and chocolate bars to marshals and generators. We look forward to doing it all again next year which will be extra special as we will be celebrating Chestnut Tree House’s 15th birthday.”