On Saturday 10th July, over 675 walkers strolled along Eastbourne Seafront in remembrance of their loved ones and to raise money for St Wilfrid’s Hospice.

Photo by Luke Harmer Visuals

Although our annual Starlight Stroll looked a little different this year - taking place during the afternoon and with a slightly longer distance from a brand-new registration point - the essence remained the same. Starting at Princes Park, our walkers continued to stroll along to the Italian Gardens at Holywell to place a lantern on the lawn in memory of a loved one. The lanterns were lit with tea lights and by the end of the event a beautiful twinkling memorial garden lit up the evening.

St Wilfrid’s Community Fundraiser Lotti Prangnell, who organised the event, tells us more about how the day went:

‘Despite the wet weather, I think the event went brilliantly. We began setting up at 8am with help from GPF Productions, who built staging and a start and finish line archway in Princes Park. They then moved onto the Italian Gardens and set up the beautiful lighting that makes that whole area look so special.

Photo by Luke Harmer Visuals

‘Later in the morning, our first volunteers started turning up and helped put up a big marquee, several gazebos, and transformed both ends of the walk ready for our participants – this was all done in the pouring rain!

‘The walk itself began at 4pm, with our participants turning up within hourly slots to help with social distancing. The last group came through at just gone 7pm - fortunately, the weather had mostly cleared up by then. We have not had a rainy day for Starlight Stroll in many years, but everyone took it in their stride and had a wonderful time.

‘We are so grateful to everyone who signed up, took part, and raised money for the event – the total so far is over £38,000. We are also very appreciative of GPF Productions and all the staff and volunteers who gave up their time to be at Starlight Stroll despite the rainy weather. It is always a moving day and brings home the value of the work that the hospice does for our community. A particular highlight for me was going to visit the Italian Gardens at the end of the evening as it just looked so beautiful.’

Photo by Luke Harmer Visuals

Because the event was held during the afternoon this year, we have made a special film of the lanterns during the evening, stunningly lit up which you can view below:

The official Starlight Stroll JustGiving page is still open (here) if you would like to make a donation, too. We really do appreciate your support; every penny will go towards the care that we offer within the hospice and out in our community. If you took part in the walk, please send your sponsorship money to us before the 1st September.

With thanks to Luke Harmer Visuals for photographing the event