Were you part of the 'emotional' Girls Night Out?
- Credit: Andy Abbott
Hundreds of women wearing pink flashing bunny ears turned out last night to walk miles across Bury St Edmunds.
The annual Girls Night Out for St Nicholas Hospice Care saw more than 800 people support the charity by walking a six or 11.2-mile route around the town.
Funds are still being counted, but the hospice said every penny raised would "make a massive difference to the charity".
Girls Night Out is a huge source of income for St Nicholas Hospice Care, raising more than £220,000 in 2019.
But last year the event had to be scaled back due to Covid, with supporters walking in their own local areas, making more than £60,000 for the cause.
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Charlie De-Moore, the hospice’s events fundraiser and event organiser, said: “Thank you to everyone who has taken part in 2021’s Jaynic Girls Night Out and made it such a huge success.
"The money raised is incredibly important because it helps us continue our work to support families at such difficult times.
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“It is always emotional to see the walkers set off from Angel Hill together and to see such wonderful community spirit across the town, but this year it felt truly wonderful to see how much support for St Nicholas Hospice Care there is across the community."
Hannah Smith, who lives in Bury St Edmunds, was walking with her best friend Natalie Holmes, said: “This is my first Girls Night Out and what a great occasion to be part of.
"My family were supported by the hospice years ago after the death of my grandpa.
"The support we felt from the nurses and everyone on the ward has always stayed with me. This walk is a thank you to them and in memory of my grandpa.”
The event’s build-up for newlyweds, Josh and Becky Cramer, made a perfect backdrop for some of their wedding photos as bunny-eared walkers posed alongside them for some of their snaps.
More than 200 volunteers and marshals supported the event, while emergency services and RAF 2623 Squadron were also on hand to ensure everything ran smoothly.
Walkers also remembered loved ones at the memory walls on Angel Hill and outside the hospice and during the event’s memory minute, which was observed before walkers set off on their challenge.
During the build-up to the start, the hospice also invited some of the hospice's Covid heroes onto the stage to recognise them for their support throughout the pandemic.
They included: members of the Thetford Open Gardens committee, Jo Birch, who set up a Facebook group to support the making of scrubs, Martin McConnell, who has recently completed 2021km in memory of a friend, Melanie Furness, who completed 30 half marathons in 30 days, and Allison Humphreys who recently finished the virtual Lands End to John O'Groats challenge.