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Our first Sunset Walk: what a night!

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Our first Sunset Walk: what a night!

As the sun set over Bury St Edmunds our brand new fundraising event filled the town with music as fundraisers walked to the beat all in the name of a good cause.

St Nicholas Hospice Care’s inaugural Sunset Walk, which took place in Bury St Edmunds yesterday evening (Saturday, 22 June), saw fundraisers don their comfiest trainers to raise as much as possible for the charity which supports those across West Suffolk and Thetford facing dying, death and grief.

Sponsored by Greene King, the walk, which started and finished in the Abbey Gardens, saw 1,080 people sign up to take part. Funds from the event are still being counted as participants continue to return their sponsorship money.

Charlie De-Moore, the hospice’s events manager, said: “After all of the months of planning it is hard to believe that our first Sunset Walk has not only taken place, but that the event was such a success.

“The walk really was a wonderful occasion. It was filled with laughter and it was amazing to see so many people join together to support St Nic’s and raise vital funds for the work we do.

“It was amazing to see friends, families and loved ones all enjoying themselves. The music element of the walk really added something extra and we are grateful to all of the performers and artists for sharing their talents.

“The more peaceful times of remembrance were also poignant and it was comforting to see people come together in-memory of the loved ones that they were walking for.

“The Sunset Walk wouldn’t have happened without the huge support that we have had, and to see more people flood out of the Abbey Gardens to start their walk really was a memorable sight.

“The steps taken by our walkers have raised vital funds and the generosity of our walk sponsor Greene King means that the funds they have raised will go even further to support our care and services. The hours given by our volunteers and marshals helped keep everyone safe and motivated, with their cheers helping so many people over the finish line.”

Before the walk, those taking part and their supporters were able to enjoy the walk’s event village, which included garden games as well as food and refreshments. As the clock approached 6pm, an energetic warm-up led by the Zumba Chickz got everyone ready to go.

The walk itself was filled with laughter and camaraderie, alongside more tender moments in which walkers remembered loved ones. At the charity’s Hardwick Lane hospice walkers placed paper lanterns, some of which they had decorated in remembrance of those they miss.

Musical acts and performers also popped up at various points during the routes, providing walkers with a boost as they counting down the kilometers to the finish. With everything from singers to ukulele players plus pipe and samba band, and the Academy of Movement also showed off some circus and acrobatic skills too.

With the finish line in sight, walkers were greeted by a welcome hot drink, cake baked by the hospice’s catering team and they also received a medal.

Alison Ramsay, senior social impact manager at Greene King, said “We’re proud to have sponsored St Nicholas Hospice’s first Sunset Walk, and it was great to see so many people from across the community come together to walk and celebrate and remember loved ones.

“Every pound raised is so important, helping St Nic’s to continue to provide the incredible care and support for patients and their loved ones at a time in their lives when they need it the most.”

It costs St Nic’s around £22,000 a day to provide all their services and although they receive some statutory funding, this only covers around 20% of their costs, which means fundraisers like this are vital.