Nearly 300 supporters from across Cambridgeshire took part in Arthur Rank Hospice Charity’s first-ever virtual Star Shine Walk to raise more than £33,500.
The annual walk sponsored by The Cambridgeshire Care Home, is one of the hospice’s most important fundraisers and was adapted in response to coronavirus and the government’s guidelines on social distancing.
Participants were invited to walk ‘shoulder to shoulder with hospice staff’, by walking 20,000 steps any time between May 23 and June 6. More than £405,605 has now been raised by the event since it started in 2008.
In solidarity with supporters, frontline care and supporting teams based at the hospice at Shelford Bottom and the Alan Hudson Day Treatment Centre in Wisbech also took part, alongside the charity’s CEO Sharon Allen.
Well-loved celebrity supporter of the event, Cliff Parisi - known for playing Fred Buckle in ‘Call the Midwife’ and previously Minty in ‘EastEnders’ - lent his good-humoured support to bolster the event.
He took to social media, as the events team counted down towards the start of the walk, to encourage people to take part.
The Lovewell Family, of mum, dad and three young girls, walked from their home in Sawston to Arthur Rank Hospice and back again, dragging a cart with them in case of tired legs on the return journey.
They were walking in memory of their mum and nanna who was cared for by the hospice.
More than 30 members of Sing! Choirs, based in Cambridge and Ely, also created their own ‘Sing ’n’ Walk’ to raise vital funds.
Their collective effort raised so much in sponsorship that their leader, Kathryn Rowland, had to fulfil her promise of doubling the distance in acknowledgement of the generous support.
Angeline Liles, events officer, said: “Our original target was £20,000, so we’re unbelievably proud of all our Team Arthur family who, by putting their best foot forward together, smashed that target by over £13,000! A true team effort!”
Thanks were also given to Nanna Mexico and Clare Jones Floral Design, who sponsored the virtual ‘mile markers’.
The charity is planning to host a celebration evening for event participants once it is safe to do so.