PHOTOS: Pendleside Hospice Midnight Walk

MORE than 2,000 women transformed the streets of Burnley and Pendle into a sea of bright pink at the weekend as they pounded the streets to raise money for people with terminal illnesses.

Ideal weather made for an emotionally-charged “girls’ night out” atmosphere with generations of determined women donning pink tutus, flashing bunny ears, wigs, hats and pyjamas for the third annual Pendleside Hospice Midnight Walk.

Ausra Pilitauskaite, Andrea Moore and Suzanne Feure. A020611/1o

Ausra Pilitauskaite, Andrea Moore and Suzanne Feure. A020611/1o

Many were walking in memory of loved ones who died and had their photos pinned to their T-shirts, while others simply went to show their support for the Reedley hospice.

Early indications suggest the event, the hospice’s biggest annual fund-raiser, raised more than £135,000 with more cash expected once sponsor money starts to flood in from generous locals

For the first time this year entrants got the choice of a five or eight-mile walk and along both routes the public support was evident as residents cheered and clapped.

Marshals along the route handed out water, bananas and encouragement to keep up the momentum. Both events started and finished at Burnley Football Club and took participants from Burnley to Nelson town centre and back.

Susie Burnett took part as a tribute to her brother-in-law and father-in-law. “The hospice were so strong for all the family,” she said. “This is the least I can do to pay them back.”

She was walking with her friend Lisa Kelly, whose mum beat breast cancer. Lisa said: “The hospice have helped my mum recover from breast cancer. My mum now gives back to the hospice.”

Wendy Taylor, from Burnley, was doing the walk with her daughter, Kelly Ashcroft-Hawley, in memory of her husband John who died in May. Wendy added: “It’s a brilliant atmosphere.”

Hospice fund-raiser Mrs Kaye Bartle said: “It was a great atmosphere and all 2,000 plus ladies that walked had a fantastic time.

“It was an amazing sight to see more than 2,000 women take part in the walk in aid of the hospice. Last year we raised £240,000 so we are hoping for in excess of £200,000 this year.”

Before the Midnight Walk women were entertained by radio station 2br, The Take That Experience – Robbie Williams tribute Lee Pashley and Take That tribute act Relight the Fire – who performed popular hits while representatives from Crow Wood Leisure Centre were in charge of warming up the crowds.