New routes, new memories during Venus night

Hundreds of women painted the town pink on Friday as Hereford’s midnight streets were taken over by fundraisers.

Tens of thousands of pounds is expected to be raised for St Michael’s Hospice following the Venus 35th Anniversary Challenge walk.​

This year, for the first time, women had the choice of three circular routes; a 5K, 10K or 15K, each setting off from Hereford Leisure Centre.​

Many of those taking part had a personal connection to St Michael’s.​

For Caroline Mulloy, just completing the 10K was an achievement.​

‘I have MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and there were quite a few times when I didn’t think I’d finish,’ said Caroline, who walked with a friend.​

‘But what kept me going was knowing I was raising money for such a great cause. St Michael’s cared for my grandmother and I didn’t want to let down those who had pledged money. I didn’t want to let myself down either. It was a great feeling to reach that finish line.’ ​

The walkers began the evening by taking part in a variety of warm-up dance routines led by Hereford-based The Starlight Company.​

Enroute, refreshments were available at Castle Green, while a memory garden featuring paper lanterns containing walkers’ dedications to loved ones was created in the grounds of Hereford Cathedral.​

‘Venus is always a special night but this year was particularly poignant as it marked 35 years of St Michael’s Hospice first opening its doors to the community,’ said the Hospice’s Events Manager, Matt Ashcroft.​

‘Congratulations to everyone who took part. Thanks also to the people of Hereford for the continued support they give to the women along the route. The boost this gives them cannot be underestimated.​

As always, we were again so fortunate to have the help of dozens of marshals. These volunteers give up their Friday night to ensure the event runs smoothly and on behalf of St Michael’s and the Venus walkers, I’d like to say a huge thank you.’​

The Hospice Community and Events programme continues this Autumn with Postcards from Life beginning on Monday 28th October, and the Halloween Torch-lit Pumpkin Walk on 31st October.​

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