A new-look Manchester Midnight Walk attracted a capacity turnout of 1,200 walkers who voted the changes a big success.
Organisers St Ann’s Hospice were delighted with the response after its annual 10k city centre walk switched to a new start and finish line outside Manchester Cathedral.
The charity’s flagship fundraising event was also brought forward two months in the calendar, adding a further fresh look to the 12th edition of the moonlit walk which has raised almost £2m since it began.
Even the notorious Manchester weather was kind as rain showers relented for the event, sponsored by BetFred.
Late night revellers on their way home also made spontaneous donations as walkers went on a loop past landmarks the Hilton Hotel, old Granada Studios, Spinningfields, Manchester Arena and the Northern Quarter.
The crowds were given a rousing send-off inside the Cathedral which was rocking to a disco music as part of the pre-walk entertainment. The party was hosted by BBC broadcaster Phil Trow and long-time St Ann’s supporter Paul Hazelby, who has raised more than £100,000 for the charity.
Participants were raising money for the care of hospice patients in Heald Green, Little Hulton and the Neil Cliffe Centre at Wythenshawe Hospital, plus various outreach and community services.
Eamonn O’Neal, Chief Executive of St Ann’s, said:
“We’re always amazed at the warmth and generosity people from across Greater Manchester have for our charity, but to see so many gathered together on Friday having a great time and raising money for our patients was overwhelming.
“Just looking at everyone setting off on the walk, and realising each one has their own personal motivation for supporting us, or experience of St Ann’s, was incredible.
“People in Greater Manchester have an amazing spirit, drive and sense of pride, and we certainly saw that in droves at the Midnight Walk. As we all know, there have been some terrible events which the people of Manchester have had to endure, and to see everyone come together in support of us in this way was really emotional. We can’t thank everyone who took part enough.”
“As a charity we only receive about a third of our funding from the NHS, so rely on the kind generosity of the public to help us raise around £20,000 every day, which is what we need to continue providing our care. We’re really looking forward to receiving everyone’s sponsorship money so we can find out how much has been raised at the event.”
Picture BY CHRIS BULL FOR ST ANN’S HOSPICE 27/4/18
St Ann’s Hospice Midnight Walk. The 10km route started at midnight from the iconic Manchester Cathedral and took in some of Manchester’s most famous landmarks including the Hilton Hotel, Old Granada Studios, Spinningfields, MEN Arena, the Northern Quarter and past the Universities.