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Girls Night Out walk lights up Bury St Edmunds

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Girls Night Out walk lights up Bury St Edmunds

As dusk fell in Bury St Edmunds, the town was lit up by pairs of flashing bunny ears as St Nicholas Hospice Care’s Jaynic’s Girls Night Out walk took place.

The sponsored walk, which took place on Saturday, 4 March, saw around 900 people pull on their pyjamas to walk 11.2 or six miles around the town to raise funds for St Nicholas Hospice Care.

This year’s walk, which should have taken place in September 2022, but was postponed due to the death of Queen Elizabeth II, was supported by main sponsor Suffolk-focused developer Jaynic, and was filled with laughter and camaraderie, alongside more tender moments in which walkers remembered loved ones at the memory boards on Angel Hill and at the hospice.

Funds are still being counted, but every penny raised will make a massive difference to the charity, which supports those across West Suffolk and Thetford facing dying, caring and grief.

Charlie De-Moore, the hospice’s events manager, said: “It was a fantastic night, and once again, everyone showed how much they care for the hospice.

“It is always emotional to see the walkers set off and to see such wonderful community spirit across the town. Thank you to all of those who put in the miles for us.

“Every step taken and every penny raised makes an incredible difference. It means we can keep supporting people across our community when they need it most. We can keep providing the services that those in our care rely on.”

More than 200 volunteers and marshals supported the walk, while emergency services and RAF personnel were also on hand to ensure everything ran smoothly.

Charlie added: “We could not run Girls Night Out without phenomenal support from across the community.

“Not just all our amazing volunteers, but also the wonderful residents of Bury who clap and cheer the women as they walk round and offer drinks and snacks, and all of our sponsors.

“Thank you to every one of them.”

The total raised from the event will take weeks to calculate as walkers return their sponsorship money.

Nicola Barber, Jaynic’s Office & Marketing Manager, said: “We are so pleased that we have been able to lend our support to Girls Night Out for the third year running.

“Having taken part in the event for the last three years, this year I was able to walk again with my Mum and a group of girlfriends, the night itself is a great occasion to be part of.

“The atmosphere is brilliant, and Jaynic is so proud to be involved in the occasion. The walk and the funds it raises make such a difference, not just to the hospice but also to the community that relies on it.

“It has been another wonderful fundraiser, and a massive well done to everyone who was part of the occasion.”

During the event, which featured a poignant memory minute, there was also a variety of musical entertainment for participants to enjoy along the routes.

This included the Rock Choir at the finish, plus drummers and a pipe band on the routes. Crossing the finish line walkers were greeted by a welcome hot drink and cake, and they also received a medal,

Daisy Fisher, from Bury St Edmunds, was walking with her sister Anya, in memory of their grandfather.

“This will be the first time we’ve taken part in the walk, and we’re pleased that we can do it for the Hospice. The care our grandpa received from the community nurses was amazing,” said Daisy.

For mum and daughter Molly and Fiona Branagan, the event was a chance to remember a much-loved sister and auntie.

Fiona said: “My sister was such a caring person. She looked after everyone, and for us, knowing that she was so cared for while she was dying was such a relief. It was a heartbreaking time, but the Hospice made it a special time for us too.”

The event was also sponsored by Havebury Housing Partnership, Chassis Cab and Greene King.