Over 100 people attended the ceremony, which was held at the Hospice’s shop in Lugley Street, Newport. The store was transformed with sunflowers and bunting and guests were welcomed with canapés made by the apprentice chefs at the Isle of Wight College.
Trustees and volunteers handed out awards for personal achievements and the winners ranged in age from 1 to 81. Over 10,500 people took part in the walk this year, including 1993 children.
There were several awards for children, including a few who have disabilities. 13-year-old James Loosemore and his 16-year-old sister Christina used walking aids to walk from Sandown to Shide. The pair’s mum, Julie, added:
“We start first and end last – it took about six hours this year. I’ve lost count of how many times we’ve done it now, but each year we go a little bit further. We want to support the Hospice, as you never know what’s round the corner.”
An amazing 54 schools took part in the charity fundraiser from all over the Island, with Shanklin Primary School raising more money than any of the others. Head boy Cameron Cooke, 10, and head girl, Ellie Baker, 10, were there to pick up the trophy with their teacher, Liz Westbrook.
Christine Marston, 74, from Bembridge (pictured above), took home a cup for being the oldest female on the full walk from Bembridge to the Needles (26.5 miles). Christine has Walked the Wight for the past 19 years.
Lorraine Paffett, 51, from Wroxall, took part in memory of her husband, Trevor, who died a year ago from pancreatic cancer, just three weeks after his diagnosis. She raised money alongside thirty friends and relatives, all wearing T-shirts bearing the name of her team, Paff’s Purple Hearts.
Together they raised £3,000 and picked up an award for the best team effort.
Earl Mountbatten Hospice cares for patients with life-shortening conditions, at the Hospice, and in their own homes. The Hospice provides palliative care, information for families and other essential services. Walk the Wight is the biggest event in their fundraising calendar.
Tina Harris, Chief Executive of Earl Mountbatten Hospice, commented afterwards:
“This was a very special evening – attended by very special people. Every year we need to raise over £2m to keep the Hospice open, and every year, people across the Island help us to do that. We are so grateful to all our supporters, including everyone who walks the Wight. You’re helping people when they need it most, and we think you’re amazing.”
Walkers will be able to register for 2014’s Walk the Wight from Friday 3rd January 2014 for the walk on Sunday 11th May 2014.
Photos: Eileen Long Photography