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Spectacular Star Walk raises £50,000

The sight of 560 women dressed in their funkiest pyjamas with curlers in their hair, may make you think Romford was a sleepy town. 
Dave's Divas

But when they came together in the Market Square on Saturday, July 16 to raise £50,000 to fund our care and support services, snoozing was the last thing on their mind as they set off on a 10k Star Walk.     

And there was live entertainment from a host of performers from TV talent shows including Lyrickal (The Voice), Jasmine Elcock (Britain's Got Talent), Nathanael Landskroner (X Factor), SweetChix (Britain's Got Talent) and singers Right Said Bruv and Josh Gleaves to really get the pyjama party started.           Jenny Riding - Star Walk winner! - Assistant Manager at Hornchurch shop


Lesley Rogers was part of the Yummy Mummies team and said her mum Carol Still, who has cancer and has also had a stroke, really benefits from the arts and crafts activities in the hospice's Day Therapy Unit every Wednesday.          

"She absolutely loves it," said Lesley, from Collier Row.                                                                                                                                                                  

"It really keeps her going and gets her out.                          The Yummy Mummies              

"My husband's Nan was also cared for at the hospice in her last days and we could not have asked for more."          

Jade Wood, who is getting married next month, was there with her family and friends as part of her hen night celebrations.          

"It has been a fantastic night," said Jade, who lives in Surrey but is originally from Dagenham.        Jenny Riding - Star Walk winner! - Assistant Manager at Hornchurch shop 

"It was my first ever event and it was great fun, I will definitely be doing it again.         

"Saint Francis Hospice is our local charity and we thought it would be a great way of combining fundraising with a fun night out.          

"So far we have raised over £500 and it wasn't difficult."         

                                                                                          Jade Wood with family and friends

It was also an emotional evening for many people who were walking in memory of loved ones.           

Julie Knight, from Collier Row, was there with friends, family and work colleagues as the hospice cared for her son Cameron Oxby, 21, before he died of cancer in November.       

Deccy's Midnight Runners were back for the second year and the team of 20 girls had a great night.          

"We wanted to do it again to support the hospice as they were so good to my husband Declan and my mother-in-law before they passed away this year," said Debbie Moran. 

"It is such a great night out and a real giggle."    Jenny Riding - Star Walk winner! - Assistant Manager at Hornchurch shop     

                                                                                         Deccy's Midnight Runners

Vi's Girls went all out in super gran style in memory of loving mother and grandmother Violet Squire who died at the hospice four years ago.          

"It is a fantastic place and we feel we wanted to give something back for the care she received as she was looked after so well," said Carole Squire from Collier Row. 

Jenny Riding - Star Walk winner! - Assistant Manager at Hornchurch shop         

Dave's Devils signed up for the third time.         

"Dave died at the hospice two years ago on the night we did the first walk," said his sister-in-law Janice Webb, from Rush Green.         

"We wanted to do it so other families can get the wonderful care Dave got when they need it.          

                                                                                                                 Vi's Girls

"It is a time in your life that you don't want to go through but if you do have to go through it you would want to be in a hospice where you are surrounded by people who could not do enough for you.          

"By doing events like this we feel we are putting a bit back."         

Dedicated Star Walk fan Mary Sullivan, from Romford, was part of Team Sullivan.          

She was also there for the third year, despite having torn ligaments in her ankle.         

"Both my mother-in-law and father-in-law were at the hospice," said Mary.         

"We all want to make sure this facility is there for other people who might need it."       

Dave's Divas was made up of Charlotte Cook, from Rainham and 33 family and friends.       

They were there to support the hospice and remember her dad Dave Maynard who was looked after by the hospice before he died.         

Janet Abbott from Hainault, who has been taking part in the walk since the beginning, knew exactly what to expect on the night.         

The retired District Nurse has had contact with the charity over the years through her work in West Essex and last year her mother Ivy Lyons, 90, was cared for by the Hospice at Home team.          

Nicki Degun, Kirit Sehmbi and Suzanne Degun, from Ilford, were part of Bubi's Babes and were aunt who received hospice care before she died.          

"We have had an amazing night," said Suzanne.         

"We set ourselves a target of £450 and by using Facebook Live we raised over £610.       

"If we can raise awareness of our local hospice as well as much needed funds then that is brilliant."         Jenny Riding - Star Walk winner! - Assistant Manager at Hornchurch shop

And while everyone was a winner, a delighted Jenny Riding, the Assistant Manager of the hospice's Hornchurch shop, was first to the finish line and Star Walk veteran Elizabeth Preston was also among the first to complete the 10k course.          

Linda Borg, Events Fundraiser at the hospice, said the Star Walk was a "phenomenal success" and thanked everyone involved for their support.         

"This is one of our biggest fundraising events of the year and we are incredibly grateful to all our walkers and to everyone who helped make this night such a huge success," said Linda.          

                                                                                                                                Jenny Riding

"This is the eighth year we've been running the Star Walk and it just gets bigger and better."         

The hospice has already started to take bookings for next year's event on Saturday, July 15th. So go to our events listing to book your place.      

Jenny Riding - Star Walk winner! - Assistant Manager at Hornchurch shop


Girls on the walk

Jenny Riding - Star Walk winner! - Assistant Manager at Hornchurch shop

Danni and Jasmine