St Luke’s annual Neon Midnight Walk took place on Saturday. Once again hundreds of ladies in brightly coloured neon gear and lots of sparkle got together with their friends for the city’s favourite girls’ night out, all in aid of the hospice and the care they give across the community.
Many walked in memory of loved ones, celebrating their lives while making fun new memories. With the party atmosphere and plenty of laughter along the way, it certainly was a night to remember!
3, 6 and 13 mile routes, offered a choice of challenges for all abilities. 13 miles in her sights, Antonia from Tavistock said, “St Luke’s helped care for my mum when she was really poorly. Mum wanted to be at home, so it was great that the hospice could come to us in Tavi. Tonight was for mum and such a worthwhile cause”
The route also took the ladies on a tour of many of the city’s landmarks, including Smeaton’s Tower and the Barbican, with many of the 170 volunteers out on route to keep the ladies safe.
When the challenge got tough, morale support came in abundance from spectators cheering from their front gardens along with a toot from passing cars. Gill from Tamerton Foliot said, “Everybody is in such good spirit and the support out on the route is incredible, particularly when it’s late and you’re near the end and you really need that friendly face to give you a clap and cheer, it’s a real motivator”
Nicky Hoff from Plymstock said, “Four years ago my husband was diagnosed with cancer and a year ago he came into the incredible care of St Luke’s. Very sadly he passed away back in October. Tonight, you look around, it is so colourful, a good atmosphere and a real buzz. It is unbelievable really, how many families St Luke’s has reached out to.”
Claire from Callington added, “If someone has gone, it doesn’t mean you have to be sad about it. There is always a light to remember them by and tonight is a great way to have a bit of fun, remember the good times and raise money for a great cause”.
A quick pit stop for the 13 milers in Costa Coffee at Marsh Mills for a welcomed hot chocolate, the routes united for the final mile with a celebratory glass of pink fizz at a mobile bar outside the Citadel.
Medal in hand, and the overwhelming sense of achievement, all that remained was to rest and enjoy a well-deserved post walk breakfast.
Head of Fundraising at St Luke’s, Penny Hannah said: “What an atmosphere! A heartfelt thank you to all the ladies who came out to support St Luke’s tonight, you are all incredible. You only have to look at the messages on the back of t-shirts to appreciate the positive impact St Luke’s has had on local families in need at a time of crisis.
We are hoping tonight will raise in the region of £170,000, enough to provide a complete package of care at home for 170 families not just in Plymouth, but in the South Hams and across Dartmoor. £60,000 has already been donated online, and I encourage anyone who has pledged sponsorship to send it in as soon as possible, so we can put it to work and help even more people in our community.
I would like to thank not only the ladies for taking part, but the people who make an event of this size possible. The army of 170 volunteers, our sponsors Nash & Co Solicitors, Cheezi Fit Plymouth for the fantastic warm-up routine, PL1 Events, Devon and Cornwall 4×4 Response Team, Devon and Cornwall Cycle Marshalls, Drake Circus and all the businesses that have donated products and services, we simply couldn’t have done it without you. Thank you.”
Since Midnight Walk first began in 2007, the event has raised a staggering £1,902,000 for hospice care, powered by a caring community who have walked a total 216,591 miles – equivalent to walking around earth, eight and half times.