Around 1,000 walkers took to the city streets this Friday for the Manchester Midnight Walk in aid of St Ann’s Hospice.
The crowds paraded through the city centre for the 10km sponsored event, passing iconic landmarks including Manchester Cathedral, St Ann’s Square and Spinningfields as they raised money for the local charity.
The hospice’s flagship fundraising event has continued to pull in the crowds every year since it began in 2007, with walkers raising almost £2m for St Ann’s in that time.
Walkers were entertained by singer/songwriter Lucy Spraggan who performed on the main stage, which was hosted by Paul Hazelby, a local entertainer and long-time St Ann’s supporter who has raised more than £100,000 for the charity.
Singer/songwriter Jenem also performed to ensure the crowd was fully warmed up before setting off on the 10km moonlit stroll at midnight.
Eamonn O’Neal, Chief Executive of St Ann’s, said: “It’s absolutely incredible to stand on the stage at Manchester Central and see so many people gathered together to raise money to support our patients and their families.
“Many of those taking part have their own personal experiences of the hospice, whilst others walk simply for a fun night in aid of a local charity.
“Whatever their reason for taking part, I’d like to extend a huge thank you to every single person who stayed up late to walk around our amazing city.
“Recent events have shown the strength and power that people of Greater Manchester have, and it’s really emotional seeing people coming together yet again in aid of others. We can’t thank you enough.”
The event this year was sponsored by BetFred. Fred Done, Betfred’s owner, said: “I’m delighted to support St Ann’s Hospice, which is a fantastic charity and is embodied in our community.
“Everyone is touched by the care and compassion given to patients and their families at the hospice’s three sites in Greater Manchester.”
St Ann’s cares for local people with cancer and other life-limiting illnesses from its three sites in Heald Green, Little Hulton, and the Neil Cliffe Centre in Wythenshawe Hospital, and also in the place they call home via its community and Hospice at Home services.