Gallery: Girls Night Out in Bury St Edmunds breaks record as 1,800 women took part
- Credit: Archant
Records were smashed as 1,800 women descended on Bury St Edmunds for a walk which raised £160,000 in one evening.
As dusk fell in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday (Septembe 12 2015) Angel Hill was lit up by thousands of pairs of flashing bunny ears for St Nicholas Hospice Care’s Girls Night Out walk.
The women-only moonlight walk saw 1,800 women pull on their pyjamas to walk 11 or six miles around the town to raise an estimated £160,000 for the Hospice.
This year’s walk, the seventh annual Girls Night Out, was a record-breaker for the Hospice, with more women than ever before taking part.
Jenny Baskett, hospice events and challenges fundraiser, said: “It was an absolutely awesome night. Once again, everyone showed how much they care for the hospice.
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“Seeing so many women set off with the same purpose, to support the hospice, made me feel very emotional and proud.
“To see Angel Hill so full of bunny ears made me full of gratitude that so many people made so much effort. Every step they took and every penny they raised makes a difference and helps the hospice to make living with dying better for people facing long-term and life-threatening illnesses.”
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The total raised from the event will take weeks to calculate as walkers return their sponsorship money, but early estimates look to set to exceed last year’s totals.
More than 200 volunteers and marshals supported the walk, while emergency services and airmen from RAF Honington were also on hand to ensure women were safe.
Amanda Williams, from team Charlie’s Angels, of Haverhill, said: “We’re excited to be here. I can’t believe the walk is finally here. We definitely want to do it again next year, we know that already.”
Along with team members Sue Elliott, Laura Allen and Sophie Allen, she was walking in memory of their granddad and dad Charlie Allen.
Zoe Battershall, of the Bury Folly Dollies team, made up of Gill Brooker, Sally Mapston and Judi Clark, said: “I really enjoy taking part, there’s such a good atmosphere. Everyone encourages you all the way round.”
Caryl’s Crew, made up of members from Long Melford and Sudbury, were walking in memory of friends Caryl, Betty and Vivienne.
Maureen Barsby said: “Betty and Vivienne were supported by the hospice, but sadly Caryl didn’t make it there. We are doing this for them.”
Mildenhall Slimming World Consultant Donna Cooper was leading a 200-strong team on the night, thanks to support from fellow consultants Sharon Heaps and Mandy Reeves, who inspired women from Mildenhall, Littleport and St Neots to take part.
“I’m really excited to be walking again this year,” said Donna. “I loved it last year and that’s why I talked the others on board. Girls Night Out knocks the spots off every other charity event I have ever done. The atmosphere on the walk is amazing.”
She added that the Mildenhall Marvels were aiming to collectively raise £20,000.