Hundreds hit the streets for hospice's fundraiser
More than 600 women took to the streets of Bath at night for an expression of girl power for charity.
The Dorothy House Midnight Walk lit up the city's streets as women with cause to be thankful for the hospice organisation walked five miles around the centre.
Beyond the brightly coloured outfits and tutus, the event was a poignant way for participants to remember loved ones and raise money in their memory.
Sisters Nicki Merrick, 41, and Kim Cox, 40, took part in the fun walk as a way of thanking Dorothy House for their support when their parents became ill.
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"We're here because 12 years ago we lost our mum Mollie Barker from cancer and this year we lost our dad Mike to cancer," said Kim.
"You never think it is going to happen to you once but it struck us twice.
"Dorothy House was fantastic and doing this walk is something positive."
Former Chronicle reporter turned BBC Points West presenter Imogen Sellers was on hand to cheer on the walkers, joined by local company Butlers in the Buff and music from Bagpiper Bob.
The annual event is the hospice charity's biggest fundraiser of the year with participants sponsored to take part, and it brought in £145,000 in 2011.
Walkers were able to limber up before the event thanks to a mass warm-up session led by Jane Braham, of Walk Fit Club, and free doughnuts from Krispy Kreme.
Caroline Sinclair, a teaching assistant at St Philip's Primary School in Odd Down, lost her husband David in July. She was joined on the walk by her 16-year-old daughter Zoe and colleagues from school.
"Zoe really wanted to do it and it is something to focus on," she said.
Marshals made sure women were safe along the route and volunteer Tracey Smith said she'd been happy to help out.
"It is just brilliant," she said. "The fact that people put themselves out on a Saturday night at midnight is brilliant.
"I think everybody has a link to Dorothy House. It is such a worthwhile cause."
The start of the walk also saw Chrissie Williams, of Odd Down, taking part in memory of her husband Terry who died in January. Mrs Williams celebrated her 50th birthday on the walk, joined by her daughter Kirsty Favager and friend Nikki Tessier.
For 55-year-old Sharon French, of Melksham, the walk was a good way to thank the charity for its support when she was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago.
The fastest finishers completed the course in just under an hour and 15 minutes.
The charity supports about 700 families affected by life-threatening illnesses across Bath and north east Somerset and Wiltshire, and relies heavily on the proceeds of fundraising events to provide its high level of care.
Event organiser Phillippa Watson said: "This year's walk has proved to be a great success with more than 600 women completing the course in a really fun atmosphere.
"It was such a magnificent sight to see so many flashing pink bunny ears making their way through the streets of Bath.
"Well done to all the women who took part and supported us by fundraising for the event. We rely heavily on the proceeds of events like this, so all the money raised will be gratefully received.
"We have had a lot of feedback from women who really enjoyed the walk and who have commented on the fantastic atmosphere and camaraderie among the walkers."
Its next major fundraising event will be the Santa Dash on Sunday, December 2, which will see hundreds of people, dressed as Santa, walk, run or jog a four-mile route through Winsley to raise money for the charity.
Anyone interested in entering the Santa Dash should visit www.dhsantadash.co.uk or call the fundraising team on 01225 721 480.