Published Monday 18th September 2017

A huge number of sparkling women lit up the streets of Hereford to mark ten years of the Venus midnight walk.

Around 1,000 women of all ages took part in the sold-out Venus X on Friday night, making it the second largest turnout on record.

The annual 10K walk is expected to raise around £50,000 for St Michael’s Hospice.

TV antiques expert Kate Bliss set the women off on a new-look route which saw them begin at Hereford Leisure Centre on Holmer Road before calling into event sponsors Cotswold Mini on Roman Road for a glass of bubbly.

Then it was through Churchill Gardens and on to Castle Green where they stopped for chocolate strawberries.

A memory garden was created at Hereford Cathedral before walkers posed for photos at the Old Market Selfie Station on their way back to the Leisure Centre.

The night was memorable for a different reason when Hospice Angel George Burgess, who was helping marshal the event on his motorbike, took one of the walkers to Hereford County Hospital to witness the birth of her grandchild.

Venus first launched in 2007. Each year, those who take part in the women-only fundraiser paint their faces and t-shirts emblazoned with messages dedicated to loved ones.

One of those taking part was St Michael’s Hospice physiotherapist Siobhan Macquillan who walked with additional weight on her legs to mimic the symptoms felt by lymphedema patients she works with.

Matt Ashcroft, Events Manager at the Hospice, said: ‘Venus X was a very special night, full of fun, colour and remembrance.

‘We would like to thank the 1,000 women who helped Hereford’s streets sparkle on Friday night. Your support is invaluable.

‘We would also like to thank the many volunteers and local businesses who make this event possible.

‘Every year, we are blown away by people’s support for this event, and the Hospice in general.’

If you missed out on Venus X, there’s another chance to walk for your Hospice during the Big Autumn Walk, featuring four circular walks of varying distances from Fownhope Recreation Ground. It takes place on Sunday, 1st October.

For more details and to book your free place, click here