Former wheelchair user first to cross hospice Starlight Walk finish line
PUBLISHED: 06:57 07 August 2019 | UPDATED: 08:17 07 August 2019
More than 450 people donned their most colourful fancy dress and glitter face paint for Garden House Hospice Care's annual Starlight Walk on Sunday - including Hannah Goodwin, who finished first having only recently starting walking again after 10 years in a wheelchair.
The 7½-mile walk started at the Nuffield Health Centre in Letchworth and took walkers through the town and on to parts of the Greenway, before looping back to the finish at the health centre.
Hannah - who was the first person to cross the line with her partner Rory Ward - has been living with a juvenile arthritis condition since she was 11 and was in a wheelchair for 10 years.
The 27-year-old is currently in remission and, after being on medication and working through a lot of physio, she was able to take on the challenge in aid of the hospice.
Hannah said: "I could only have dreamt of something like this a year ago.
"I got here through a lot of hard work and determination. It was a fantastic event to take part in and has helped me in my training for a marathon that I am walking in September."
This year's walk saw the addition of new features and a number of themed stations including the path of lights - where walkers dedicated a candle to the memory of a loved one - the fountain of lights, and live entertainment and hot chocolate and marshmallows at Letchworth splash park.
Organiser Jake Amos said: "Each person that took part has played a vital part in helping the hospice to continue providing end of life care to those in need.
"This year the fundraising target was £15,000 which could pay to run the hospice's services for two days.
"Broken down, this figure could also pay for 790 hours of complimentary therapy in the Hawthorne Day Services centre and 517 hours of patient care.
"We would like to say a huge thanks to everyone who took part and to all the marshals and volunteers who are the people that make events like this happen."
Trustee and treasurer James Silsby added: "Together with community partners, the fundraising team put on over 1,000 events annually. There is something there for everybody to participate in to help raise money. Thank you to everyone who took part on Sunday and for what you do in the future."