A force of female fundraisers got behind Peace Hospice Care on Saturday evening when they stepped out together for the Starlight Walk - the charity’s biggest annual money-spinning event.

Turning heads and raising smiles along the route, colourful crocodile of almost 900 walkers marched out into the night sky through Watford town centre and on along Rickmansworth Road, Watford Road and through Croxley Green making sure every footstep made a difference for the charity which is closest to their hearts.

Many of the walkers, who had the option of tackling a six or 13 mile route, trekked in memory of loved ones. Ohers stepped up simply to show their backing for Peace Hospice Care.

One walker, Cheryl Roberts from Watford, was joined by her friends Jane and Christine as part of the 'Les's Angels' team. Cheryl who was carrying out her second Starlight Walk said: "My partner Les died in the hospice after a stay of 16 days last year. 

"It was such a fantastic place and I wanted to give something back.  It was so peaceful, the staff were so lovely and they made us feel so welcome and at ease.  It was a very relaxing and calm place."

She added:  'It was the aftercare that was so great at the hospice. They offered to help not just me but my wider family. 

"It's not like dying at a hospital where you don't get any of that extra help. The follow up care has been fantastic.

"There are other people who will need the hospice's support in the future and I want to make sure that more people can continue to get the kind of care we received. That's why we walked and raised money."

Another team of four called the Starlight Bees from Rickmansworth Road were joined by this year's youngest walker, Rosie Burrows, who had reached the minimum entry age of 11 the day before the Starlight Walk.

She was joined by her mum Vicky along with friends Angela and Madie Bollymore. Vicky said: "We live locally and we wanted to do this event for our local charity. We're also walking in memory of my mother-in-law who died of cancer."

Hospice Event Manager Pete Watson said: "It has been a very special night and quite overwhelming to see so many committed girls fundraising for Peace Hospice Care. 

"We really do want to thank every single walker, volunteer and everyone involved in helping make this event a great success including our fantastic sponsors.

"The money raised from the Starlight Walk will help us to continue providing the highest level of care for our patients and their families facing a life limiting illness from across South West Hertfordshire.

"We aim to exceed our Starlight Walk fundraising target of £100,000. The  money is still coming in but there is still time to support the ladies with extra sponsorship and we urge the community to carry on sponsoring our wonderful women walkers."

The event which began and finished outside Watford Colosseum, next door to the hospice, was started this year for the first time by TV entertainer Brian Conley and was sponsored by a host of local companies, including Warner Bros. Studios, SA Law and Citygate.
For a full list of alkers see Friday's Watford Observer.