Walkers shed light on midnight stroll

TORCH-bearers are being sought to join a midnight walk for charity, as part of Alnwick’s celebration of the Olympic Games this summer.

HospiceCare North Northumberland moved the date of its popular after-dark trek to coincide with the Festival of Alnwick, which runs for a whole week in June to mark the visit of the iconic Olympic flame as it passes through the county.

The last walk was held in 2009 and attracted more than 300 participants who raised in excess of £10,000 for the charity, which has a base on Narrowgate and provides personalised care and support for people with life-limiting illness, as well as their families.

But one key difference at this year’s event, being staged on Saturday, June 9, is the chance for each walker to carry a specially-made torch, to recognise the Olympic occasion.

Julie Mawer, community events fund-raiser for HospiceCare, said: “In the past we’ve held walks under a full moon, but because there won’t be one this time we’re having special torches made for walkers to use.

“Previous walks have been very popular, but we’re hoping that far more people will come this year to mark the Olympics in north Northumberland and help raise money for the charity along the way.

“This will be an opportunity for adults to enjoy a midnight walk by torchlight.”

Karen Larkin, Festival of Alnwick co-coordinator, said: “I am thrilled to bits that organisations are moving their annual events to coincide with the Festival of Alnwick.

“It shows the significance of the Torch Relay visiting the town, which is fantastic.”

The walk will start at Alnwick Fish Market, beneath the Northumberland Hall, at midnight. The route heads down the B6341 past the Playhouse, Barter Books, down the Alnmouth Road and then under the A1 to Peters Mill.

It then follows a footpath along the River Aln and back under the A1, over Denwick Bridge, then to Alnwick Castle and finally back to the Fish Market.

Registration is £15, with a minimum sponsorship of £15. Those who raise this sum will receive complementary refreshments including a sausage or bacon sandwich.

The handmade torches will be available for a donation and there will also be a medal and certificate for finishers.

Rapid Reaction is sponsoring the event and covering the first aid on the night.

You can register for the walk by contacting Rapid Reaction on 0800 7569652, ext 1, or HospiceCare North Northumberland on 01665 606515.