By Dane McBeth
Every year since 2009, Ayr-based charity Ayrshire Hospice has invited locals along to join them on a midnight stroll through the town. On Saturday May 18th the Land O’ Burns Starlight Walk returns for its eleventh anniversary and registration is now open for people looking to gear up for a night of gentle exercise and stargazing.
This year, the organisers have decided to freshen things up with three new and improved routes.
For the very first time the neighbouring town of Prestwick will be included in the walks which all begin at Ayr Racecourse. The shortest of the routes is 4 miles long but for those willing to brave a cool Ayrshire evening in the moonlight there’s also longer 9 and 13 mile walks.
Senior Fundraising Officer for the charity Graeme Strawhorne says its an event which usually means a lot to the people who go along.
“Starlight walk is probably one event that people choose to take part in to remember a loved one or someone they’ve know who has benefitted from Hospice care. Perhaps it’s a parent or a grandparent or a friend or colleague.”
The Hospice relies heavily on money raising efforts to continue funding its critical service. Last year the walk helped generate over £50,000 for the charity and is its biggest fundraising event.
Elaine Thomson works full-time for the charity after previously volunteering, the quality of care and support which the Hospice provides for the local area was one of the reasons she joined in the first place.
“Unfortunately loads of people have to use the Hospice and all its services that it offers, so it’s fantastic that everybody can come together as a community for the whole of Ayrshire and put all their efforts and money into making the Hospice what it is today.”
Ayrshire Hospice is a charity which helps adults throughout Ayrshire and Arran. It provides care for people with life-limiting illnesses.