On a bright and balmy Sunday morning, 2nd June, hundreds of early birds took part in the Sunrise Walk to raise vital funds for families supported by Shooting Star Children’s Hospices – raising a phenomenal £51,000 and counting.

We welcomed a total of 415 participants at Ham House in Richmond at 3.30am ready to embark on this unique walk to raise money to support babies, children and young people with life-limiting conditions, and their families across London and Surrey.

The wonderful walkers took on two routes, a 10km and 20km through the area’s most beautiful and picturesque sights including Richmond Park, Richmond Hill, along by The Thames, Ham Common, Bushy Park and Hampton Court Palace all bathed in glorious dawn sunshine.

Before the walk, participants remembered loved ones by hanging decorated lanterns on a Celebration Tree to light the start line – and observed a minute’s silence to pay tribute to bereaved families supported by us.

Throughout the walk participants were revived with some welcome refreshments at Hampton Court Palace for the 20km route and Richmond Hill Hotel for the 10km.

Queensway Group, who are a corporate supporter of the charity, made up the largest team to ever take part in a Sunrise Walk, with over 50 willing walkers, some of which travelled from all across the country to take part in the early morning challenge.

From groups, individuals, friends and families – some donning brilliant outfits and ranging from our oldest at 78 to our youngest at just 7 weeks old, smiled and strode their way throughout the routes, despite the ever increasing muggy temperatures.

Supported mum Donatella and aunt Catherine said, “We are walking today to celebrate Donatella’s amazing son George who has spent 9 months in hospital and he’s now home and is going to be coming to get care at Shooting Star Children’s Hospices Hampton hospice, Shooting Star House. The walk has been phenomenal, we really enjoyed it. The sun was out, the route was wonderful, people were amazing and it’s all before breakfast time so have the rest of the day ahead of us!”

The walkers celebrated their achievements as they were rewarded with a commemorative medal as they crossed the finish line. They also had the chance to recharge and refuel with a post-walk picnic breakfast to enjoy in the sunshine.

Nigel Harding, Chief Executive at Shooting Star Children’s Hospices, said, “The Sunrise Walk is now in its seventh year and it has been amazing to see so many supporters take part and raise funds for the families who are facing the unimaginable and desperately need our care and support.

“We are so grateful to all our participants who got up in the early hours and walked the long distances, and to all those who donated and showed their support. Thanks too must go 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.

“In this current financial climate and period of uncertainty, it’s becoming increasingly challenging to raise the vital funds we require to ensure we can provide our bespoke support and services. We are hopeful that our Richmond Sunrise Walk will exceed our target of £90,000 – which will make an immeasurable difference. The success of this event over the past seven years has led to us bring it to Guildford at the end of this month – and I strongly encourage anyone to sign up and take part – it really is a very special event and you will be helping us make every moment count for the families we support.”

Our Guildford Sunrise Walk takes place on Sunday 30th June and follows parts of the North Downs Way, including Loseley Park and St Martha’s on the Hill. Why not be the first to shine and try the brand new route whilst raising money to help families in your area.

And if you’d like to join us for one of our 2020 Sunrise Walks click here and sign up to receive a reminder once booking is open!