Storm Alex and changing Covid-19 restrictions couldn’t stop 100 walkers stepping out to raise £7000 for local people living with cancer when they took part in our 5km Starlit Trail in Winchester. It was our first live event since lockdown restrictions were announced in March.
The socially-distanced walk started and finished at The Square and took in Winchester’s historic streets and landmarks, including the river, High Street, Cathedral and College, and as night fell a ‘forest of stars’ lit up Abbey Gardens. The walkers enjoyed entertainment by singers, musicians and circus acts, and left personal wishes, memories or messages of hope at a special ‘Wish Upon A Star’ point.
Rachel Billsberry-Grass, who attended her first event as our CEO, said the Starlit Trail was a huge testament to the passion and dedication of our charity and supporters:
“Ever since Covid-19 restrictions were announced, Wessex Cancer Trust’s incredible team of centre managers counsellors, therapists, fundraisers and volunteers have pulled out all the stops to make sure we’re still here for anyone living with cancer. This is despite having to cancel or change a huge amount of our planned fundraising activities. Very few charities are hosting live events at the moment, but we were determined it would go ahead. I’m incredibly proud of my team and want to say a huge thank you to them and all the walkers who have raised an incredible amount of money, despite everything Covid-19 and the weather has thrown at them!”
Catherine Lawry, who organised the event, says it was a poignant evening:
“There was such a lovely atmosphere at our first Starlit Trail last year and it was full of positivity. After everything we’ve been through this year, we felt it incredibly important to get people together again. It was a meaningful evening because of everything it said about hope and how the power of community can change lives in the face of adversity.