On a bright summer Sunday morning, 26 June, hundreds of early birds came together to take on the Guildford Sunrise Walk to raise vital funds for families supported by Shooting Star Children’s Hospices – raising £21,000 and counting.

The Guildford route is the newer of the much-loved walks, which make up our flagship event, with our Richmond walk taking place at the end of May this year also raising thousands.

Walkers gathered from 3.30am, in the beautiful grounds of the University of Law, which is situated just up the road from our Guildford based hospice, Christopher’s.

Our unique walk asks participants to come together just before sunrise to raise money to support babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions, and their families across Surrey and West London.

The wonderful walkers took on two rural routes, a 10km and 20km, through the area’s most beautiful and picturesque sights including St Martha’s on the Hill, whose panoramic views are worth every step of the steep uphill climb. The routes also led walkers along the North Downs Way, past Loseley Park and St Catherine’s Lock.

The Sunrise Walk’s offers a perfect opportunity to reflect, celebrate and remember loved ones, as walkers were able to hang decorated lanterns on a Celebration Tree to light the start line. They also observed a minute’s silence to pay tribute to bereaved families supported by the children’s charity.

This year’s walkers made up of groups, individuals, friends and families, and their four-legged friends – smiled, strode and bounded their way throughout the routes, thankfully in dry, bright conditions.

In celebration of their achievements the walkers were rewarded with a sustainable wooden commemorative medal and cheers as they crossed the finish line. They also had the chance to recharge and refuel with a post-walk breakfast bap and refreshing drinks to enjoy in the University Grounds.

Alexa Dizon, Head of Challenge Events at Shooting Star Children’s Hospices, said, “A huge thank you to our wonderful supporters who set their alarms and ventured out in the dark to join us at our Guildford Sunrise Walk. It’s been a number of years since we’ve been able to hold both our Richmond and Guildford Walks over summer and in person so it felt extra special to see supporters and some of the families we support come together for these events. As our flagship event, The Sunrise Walk series, is hugely important way for us to raise huge funds for the families who rely on our vital care and support.

“A huge thanks to everyone who made the event possible, and to all those who donated and showed support. Special thanks to Brewin Dolphin for sponsoring our T-shirts, the Church of St Martha-on-the-Hill, Surrey County Council, The Albury Estate, Loseley, the wonderful University of Law and of course a thanks to our wonderful volunteers who are always so dedicated and give up their time to help set up the event, marshal, and cheer on our walkers – it really wouldn’t be possible without them! We’re now looking forward to our Snowdon Sunrise Trek in September and have lots more challenge events available whether you’re a walker, runner, cyclist, swimmer – there’s something for you!”

Have the super sunrisers inspired you? Why not sign up to receive a reminder for the 2023 Sunrise Series here see other challenges available at here like our our tougher challenge the Snowdon Sunrise Trek in September!