Get involved: send your pictures, video & news by texting Harrow Times to 80360, or upload here
Midnight Walkers turn the night pink for St Luke’s Hospice
More than 1,700 walkers and volunteers came together to raise £174,000 in a charity night walk.
The 1,500 women walkers flooded into Harrow Leisure on Friday night to walk the nine-mile route in aid of St Luke’s Hospice.
Entertainment was provided before the walkers set off, including performances from Krupa Entertainment, the Dhol Drummers and singer Lisa Lee, who got the crowd dancing.
Among the participants were several women with very personal accounts and first-hand experience of the hospice's work.
Vanita Bhavani, who was taking part in the Midnight Walk for the second time, said: “My mum was admitted to St Luke’s in 2013 and she died there in December 2013. She had end stage kidney failure and we got her into the hospice for respite care. The staff were really supportive and made the experience less traumatic at a time which was very difficult for us as a family.
“I did the Midnight Walk in 2002 because I wanted to support a local charity and a good cause. But this year I have a bigger connection with the walk and it has much more meaning to me.”
The Shree Swaminaryan Mandir Kingsbury put together a team of 85 ladies to take part in the walk, and 27 of its members volunteered on the night.
This was just one of the charity events that has been undertaken in the run up to the Grand Opening Festival of Shree Swaminarayan Mandir Kingsbury in August.
Member Mahesh Bhojani helped organise the temple’s volunteers and said: “For us St Luke’s is our main charity this year. Our spiritual leader said we have to help organisations in the area and St Luke’s helps so many people in the community. I’ll be sure to be back here next year with even more marshals to help at the Midnight Walk.”
The hospice, which has been running for more than 65 years, cares for residents and families whose illnesses are no longer curable.
Around 1,200 ladies and 200 volunteers took part in the night.
Director of fundraising Pam Russell said: “It was amazing to see so many individuals and groups from all sections of the community coming together to raise funds for our patients and their families. An outstanding £174,000 has been pledged so far.
“The walk wouldn’t be possible without the hundreds of volunteers who helped with all aspects of the event, planning, marketing, organising the breakfast, sponsorship and helping out on the night.”