Walkers trip the night fantastic for Grace House Appeal

MIDNIGHT WALK: Warm up exercise at the Seaburn Centre.

MIDNIGHT WALK: Warm up exercise at the Seaburn Centre.

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FOOTSORE fund-raisers hit the road for the Grace House Appeal’s Midnight Walk.

Hundreds of women stepped out under the stars to raise money for the children’s hospice charity during the annual event in Sunderland.

CRAZY GIRLS: Prepare for Midnight walk.

CRAZY GIRLS: Prepare for Midnight walk.

The 10km walk on Saturday night followed St Bede’s Way along the coastal path from the Seaburn Centre to the Wearmouth Bridge and back.

Organiser Karen Maclennan, from the Grace House Appeal, said: “I am extremely grateful to the support we have received from everyone who is involved with this year’s Midnight Walk.

“There are around 1,000 families in the North East of England who have a child with a life limiting condition.

“Sadly this area has the lowest number of hospice beds for children in the UK. Everyone who is either helping, taking part or has helped fund-raise for the appeal should be immensely proud that they are helping to change this.”

The Grace House Appeal is building a children’s hospice in Southwick to help families across the North East.

Gentoo and Stagecoach sponsored the Midnight Walk.

Julie Kelly, Gentoo assistant chief executive, said: “Gentoo has supported Grace House and the Midnight Walk for many years now and are proud to be associated with such a worthy cause.”

John Conroy, Stagecoach North East managing director, added: “As part of our commitment to the wider community, we are always keen to support local charities in any way we can.

“We chose to sponsor the Grace House Midnight Walk this year as it is such a worthy cause and will benefit people across the whole area we operate here in the North East.”

Other local businesses lending a hand included M Thoburn Fruit & Veg and Pallion’s Pizza Uno in Pallion.

• A record 800 women braved the rain for a midnight walk in Durham in aid of St Cuthbert’s Hospice. Saturday’s annual fund-raiser saw participants pledge £85,000 for the Durham-based charity, the highest amount since the walk began in 2007.