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Friday, 18 April 2014

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Midnight walk women brave storm to help Eden Valley Hospice

Horrendous weather couldn’t stop women heading out into the streets of Carlisle to raise money for Eden Valley Hospice.

Carlisle midnight walk photo
Friends from Wigton and Silloth wrap up for walk

Almost 400 females, from teenagers to the elderly, braved downpours and gales to take part in the sponsored Midnight Walk.

They followed a 10km long route starting at the Rosehill branch of Tesco, heading as far west as Bridge Street and then back again.

“We are hoping we don’t get blown away,” joked Janet Ferguson, the chief executive of the hospital.

The walk is an important fundraiser for the charity, which provides end of life care to adults from the local area and children from allover Cumbria, and is based on Durdar Road, Carlisle.

“It’s quite an important way for women to remember someone,” she said, adding that she was remembering her mum Daphne, who died recently, with her walk.

The event is for women only and many of the women taking part decided to do it with a group of friends.

One group came from William Howard School in Brampton.

“We all know someone who has been affected (by illness),” said Chloe Curran, 17, from Brampton.

The girls were not put off by the bad weather. “At the end it will be worth it,” said Codie Barnes, 17, from Scotby, Carlisle.

All of the women were given a pink t-shirt for the walk but many opted to do it in fancy dress.

One was Wendy Ashton, 45, who works on the palliative care unit at the hospice, who walked dressed as the Queen.

“It (the hospice) is such a fantastic place and it relies solely on charity money,” she said.

She was accompanied by her friend Angela Henderson, who wore her 15-year-old daughter Emily’s cheerleader outfit.

Possibly the most eye-catching group were three women who all headed along dressed as female breasts.

One of their number, Anna Notman, 33, joked: “We were all toothfairies last year.”

Not all taking part had two legs. Several of the walkers opted to bring their dogs along for the fun.

One of the canines was Pebbles, a 13-year-old Shetland Sheepdog.

“It’s good exercise for her, she likes being with people as well,”said owner Chris Magas, 40, of Great Corby.

Before setting off they were entertained by Lady GaGa tribute act Leanne Wood, compere Joe Lawson and had a warm up provided by DW.

At midnight David Wilson, the mayor of Carlisle, blew an air horn to signal the start of the walk.

In total 345 women did this year’s walk. Staff from the hospice said this was slightly down on expectations, possibly related to the bad weather.

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