Record turnout for St Luke’s Starlight Walk

The warm up for the starlight walk at Endcliffe Park. Picture: Andrew Roe
The warm up for the starlight walk at Endcliffe Park. Picture: Andrew Roe

More than 1,000 walkers - a record number - turned out for the Starlight Walk along the Porter Valley in aid of St Luke’s Hospice.

Organisers of the 5k sponsored walk from Endcliffe Park to Forge Dam and back are optimistic it will also generate a record sum.

“We are really hopeful that we can raise at least £60,000,” said a spokesperson.

The event, last Saturday night, was the fourth and has become a key fundraiser for the hospice, which needs £4.5m to meet running costs.

“We had more people than ever before, which I am sure was helped by such a lovely evening and the idyllic setting,” said the spokesman. “We were taking registrations up to the last minute. We have had problems with the weather in the past.

“Everybody had a wonderful time, and it was also very moving. People were carrying placards and messages in memory of loved ones.”

Among those on the walk was Timothy Gardner, aged 71, of Ecclesfield, whose wife Judith spent eight months at St Luke’s.

He said: “St Luke’s means such a lot to our family for how kind they were to Judith and us all. I think the hospice and everyone there is absolutely wonderful and they work really hard to get the funding needed to keep open, so we like to support events like this.”

Last year’s walk attracted 900 participants and raised £54,000. The hospice cares for more than 1,000 people a year.

Entertainment in Endcliffe Park before Saturday’s walk included Killamarsh singer Jessica Steele, who appeared on BBC TV’s The Voice.