Moonlight walk celebrates a record year in Bury St Edmunds as St Nicholas Hospice Care gets ready for event’s 10th year

Thousands of women who lit up the streets of Bury St Edmunds while wearing their pyjamas and flashing bunny ears have raised a six-figure amount for St Nicholas Hospice Care.

The hospice, which provides care and support for those with long-term and life-threatening illnesses, announced the official total for its 2017 Girls Night Out, this week as £275,000.

The charity also thanked everyone who had taken part or supported the annual walk, which will celebrate its tenth birthday when it returns on Saturday, September 8.

Jenny Smith, the hospice’s events manager, said: “Every year I am truly shocked and humbled by the level of support Girls Night Out receives. Without our walkers, volunteers, supporters and sponsors the event would not have grown into the occasion it has. To be able to say everyone’s efforts have resulted in such an amazing amount is something I am incredibly proud of.

“This year will be the walk’s 10th year and I hope as many women as possible will be able to join us to help us celebrate this milestone.”

The figure of £275,000 is made-up of the money walkers raised as well as generous support and sponsorship from local businesses including main sponsor J M Finn, who will also be the event’s main sponsor this year.

Brett Bayliss, investment director and head of the Bury St Edmunds branch of J M Finn, said: “We are so proud to be able to help and be associated with the Girls Night Out – the amount raised is testament to both the quality of work that the hospice does and the tremendous community spirit that exists in the area.”

It costs more than £11,000 a day to run the hospice’s services, which support those across the local area in the final chapters of their lives.

The efforts of 2017’s Girls Night Out walkers, some 2,188 who proudly donned their flashing bunny ears while completing either 11.2 or six miles around a moonlit Bury on September 9, will pay for around 25 days of hospice care.

Charlie De-Moore, the hospice’s events fundraiser, said: “Girls Night Out is the hospice’s biggest fundraising event and the whole evening has a real party atmosphere. We are so pleased J M Finn have decided to support us by becoming the event’s main sponsor for the second year in a row. We hope as many women as possible will pull on their best pyjamas and comfiest trainers and join us on Saturday, September 8.”

Registration for Girls Night Out 2018 opens on Friday, March 30.

As in previous year’s walkers will be able to sign up at a discounted early price of £10 until May 31. With all entries after this date costing £15.

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