Gallery: Women light up the night in Bury St Edmunds raising an estimated £105,000 for St Nicholas Hospice Care

Stepping out: Flashing furry ears, pyjamas and fun had by all as over a thousand ladies take to the

Stepping out: Flashing furry ears, pyjamas and fun had by all as over a thousand ladies take to the streets of Bury St Edmunds on Saturday night for the annual Girls' Night Out charity walk in aid of the St Nicholas Hospice - Credit: Archant

An annual event which sees a town lit up by hundreds of pairs of flashing bunny ears is thought to have raised £105,000 for a hospice charity.

More women than ever before signed up to the fifth annual Girls’ Night Out, which took place in Bury St Edmunds on Saturday evening.

In total 1,020 women pulled on their pyjamas and donned their sparkly rabbit ears to walk 11.2 or six miles around the town to support the hospice.

Jenny Baskett, hospice events and challenges fundraiser, said: “Thank you to everyone who walked in Girls’ Night Out – it was joyful and emotional seeing them set off from Angel Hill.

“Every step taken by participants and every penny raised makes a difference. Their efforts allow people in west Suffolk and Thetford to have quality end of life care.

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“We are thrilled so many women pulled on their pyjamas to walk with us this year and that so many members of the community supported their efforts, either through sponsorship, volunteering to help at the event, or by cheering or clapping our walkers as they made their way around the town.”

Kevin Clements, fundraising and marketing director, said: “Girls’ Night Out is an incredible event, which gets bigger every year. Angel Hill was a sea of flashing bunny ears – it was something quite special to see.

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“All the money raised by walkers will be spent in this community because St Nicholas Hospice Care is a local community hospice, supporting patients and their families in west Suffolk and Thetford.”

Jo Lebbon, Tracy Brown and Alison Price, of Bury St Edmunds, decided to walk together in memory of Tony Brown, who died in 2007.

Ms Brown said: “This is my third time doing Girls’ Night Out, and I am doing it in memory of my dad because he was in the hospice. I also volunteer in the hospice shop in St John’s Street because I know exactly what good work the hospice does.”

Nicola and Paul Fletcher, of Ashley, near Newmarket, decided to celebrate their 11th wedding anniversary by volunteering as marshals at the women-only walk.

Mrs Fletcher said: “I thought volunteering for the hospice would be a good idea. Rather than spending money on a meal, we would much rather help a charity instead. Our kids are with my mum and dad, so this is our night out – it is our romantic date. I even bought new pyjamas for it!”

The event was not a race, but the first walker to finish the 11.2-mile route was Catherine Moriarty, of Bury, in two hours and five minutes.

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