A HUGE group of altruistic people took part in a night-time walk event to help raise money for a hospice.

Around 400 walkers took part in Katharine House Hospice’s Moonlight Walk on Saturday, which saw the crowd make their way around Easington Sports Football Club in 80s-themed clothing.

The event, which raises more than £45,000 for the hospice each year, is also well attended by the local Banbury community who cheer on the walkers.

Rhona Maguire, who was celebrating her 65th birthday, asked her family to join her on the Moonlight Walk this year instead of buying presents.

Rhona fractured her foot before the walk during an incident with some monkey bars and wasn’t able to take part.

But she still joined her family for the pre-walk party before they set out on the journey.

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Mrs Maguire said: “Our team name had to change from ‘Nanny Ro on the go’ to ‘Nanny Ro can’t go’, but I’m so pleased my crew carried on without me.

“Our fabulous local hospice has supported family and friends in an incredible way – not only supporting the patient, but the whole family unit.

“The support really is something else.”

Carla Hicks took on the walk with her friends Joanna Jackson and Laura Hawes in aid of everyone that has ever been supported at the hospice.

Mrs Hicks said: “Katharine House looked after both my nans and my gramp, as well as my mother-in-law in their final days of life.

“They provide amazing round-the-clock care and it’s such a welcoming place.

“I think this will be my fifth time walking in memory of them.”

It takes more than 100 volunteers to ensure the event runs smoothly. One volunteer who has helped organise Katharine House events for the last five years is Gina Coyne, and this year she roped in seven members of her family.

Mrs Coyne said: “I love being a part of these events. There is nothing quite like watching a long line of walkers weaving their way along a route and that feeling at the end of the night of ‘job done’ when the last walker crosses the line.”

Helen Lerwill, Events Project Manager for Katharine House said: “Well, what a night. The support we received from participants, businesses, community groups and the general public has just blown us away.

“We’re still struggling to get our fundraising events and activities back to normal following two years of upheaval and it means so much to us that people are still choosing to raise money for the hospice.”


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This story was written by Matthew Norman, he joined the team in 2022 as a Facebook community reporter.

Matthew covers Bicester and focuses on finding stories from diverse communities.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Matthew.norman@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @OxMailMattN1

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