Pyjama Walk - picture special
Pictures courtesy of James Willmott, Alex Ralph and Eleanor Sheath
Almost 1,000 people braved thunderstorms to take part in the Pilgrims Hospices’ annual Pyjama Walk last Saturday.
This year’s PJ Walk – the eighth night-time circular stroll around Ashford – has so far raised more than £7,000 for the charity with money still coming in.
Despite thunderstorms, torrential rain and even a power outage, everyone taking part was determined not to let the weather dampen their enthusiasm.
Just under 200 determined people even signed up to take part on the night in spite of the rain.
The Ashford Sings! choir got participants in the mood at the Ashford Designer Outlet where the walk started and finished.
Victoria Lawrence, Pilgrims’ community fundraising manager, said: “A huge thank you to the choir for pulling out all the stops to keep the show going despite the challenges brought on by the weather. Thanks too to our brilliant friends John Webbo Webster and Samba Pelo Mar who teamed up with our exercise leader Paris Robinson and his exercise assistants from Body Fit Forever to warm up the walkers – inventing a new kind of style ‘Sambacise’.”
By the time the walkers set off the rain had stopped.
This year many walkers carried memory lanterns with them to Victoria Park where they were laid on the steps of the Hubert Fountain as a memorial for their loved ones. The sight of 600 lanterns lighting up the park and fountain was truly poignant.
Lucie Lochhead and friend Christine Cox both laid lanterns. Lucie said: “The lanterns were lovely. It felt so special to put them down in the park and to remember our loved ones. It was a nice addition to the event.”
Victoria Lawrence added: “The Pyjama Walk is a highlight in our fundraising calendar every year and 2016 has been no exception.
“We are thrilled that over 950 walkers signed up to pound the streets in support of our charity and as always we were blown away by the positivity and unity among our supporters.
“Sponsorship is still rolling in and we can’t wait to announce the final total. I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part.”
She thanked Andrew & Co and Givaudan , who both sponsored the event, and Ashford Designer Outlet for the use of the venue as a start and finish
Lanterns dedicated to loved ones were left in Ashford’s Victoria Park; Lisa Cox, Nadine Cox, Abigail Manning, Adam Wraight, Nadine Wilkinson, Zoe and Ben Wilkinson, Janina Smith, Anya Sherratt, Carol Griffin and Lily Everest
Janet’s midnight runners bring the bubbles
Trudie Boorman, Grace Boorman, Millie Wood and Abi Ambler
The Samba Pelo Mar band entertained the participants
Diane Stone gives a foot massage to one of the first walkers to cross the finish line
Louise Martin, Gareth Lane and Sarah Skingle
Geoff, Joules and Jasmine Bushell