Updated: Friday, 13th December 2019 @ 8:39am

Fifth annual Manchester Midnight Walk celebrates St Ann's Hospice 40th anniversary

Fifth annual Manchester Midnight Walk celebrates St Ann's Hospice 40th anniversary

By James Chetwood

A sea of yellow descended on the city on Saturday night for the fifth annual Manchester Midnight Walk in aid of St Ann’s Hospice.

Over 2000 fundraisers completed the 10km route, kitted out in bright yellow t-shirts, as well as some more wacky costumes including Batman and Robin and SpongeBob SquarePants.

Key 103 DJ Chelsea Norris was on hand to lead an energetic warm up at Manchester Central, before joining the charity’s chief executive Jayne Bessant to start the event.

Luckily for walkers, the rain held off, and participants were able to enjoy a pleasant summer evening stroll, taking in many of the city’s sights, including Granada Studios, Manchester Cathedral and the MEN Arena.

One of the more poignant moments along the course was the remembrance garden in Spinningfields where walkers could leave a message to a loved one and light a lantern.

SEA OF YELLOW: Over 2000 fundraisers completed the 10k walk

Chairman of the Hospice, Stephen Chetwood, said: “It’s our biggest fundraiser and it’s a very popular fundraising activity. For some it’s quite emotional, and for others it’s just to say thank you for the treatment they might have had in the hospice.”

Celebrating its 40th anniversary, the hospice provides a wide range of services and care for patients facing a life limiting illness as well as support for families and carers.

It has to raise £16,000 every day to ensure the highest quality care for patients and they rely on the help received from its 800 volunteers.

One of those volunteers, Dipti Lakhani, was completing the walk for the fourth time in memory of a friend who was treated at the hospice.

She said: “It’s absolutely fantastic! Most people who have done it before do it again and we couldn’t have hoped for a better evening weather-wise!”

The hospice hopes to be able to provide a new bed this year, at a cost of £120,000, which will pay for the upkeep of one bed in a hospice for one year including all the treatment and nurses’ costs.

However, according to Mr Chetwood, around half the money pledged is never received by the hospice.

“We appreciate that some people might have forgotten so we remind people in whatever way we can. But it’s still a sad fact that only half of what is pledged ends up as a donation to St Ann’s Hospice.”

PRETTY IN PINK: Yellow wasn't the only colour in favour on the night

Other anniversary events this year include a Moon Rider 100km Bike Ride on 10th September, the Ruby Ball on 25th November and the Bridgewater Hall Christmas Concert on 9th December.

To support the 40th anniversary, call Clare Henderson on 0161 498 3630, email 40th@sah.org.uk or vist www.sah.org.uk/40th

Or, to make an instant £5 donation, text STANNS MMW to 70777