MORE than 500 people strode happily through woods and heathland to raise money for the Woking Hospice charity on Sunday.

They followed five and 10-mile routes for the Hospice Woodland Walk, starting at the McLaren Technology Centre.

The sponsored excursions took the walkers across the end of the Fairoaks Airport runway, through the Heather Farm wetlands, on to Horsell Common and back to parkland at McLaren.

“The atmosphere was amazing as people of all ages gathered in the event village ready to take on the challenge, walking to remember loved ones and to raise vital funds for the hospice,” said the director of fundraising for Woking & Sam Beare Hospices, Phil Wormley.

He added that the air was filled with anticipation and laughter as the first sets of walkers were led in a fun warm up by Emma Goodman-Horne from Emergy FIT, who won trainer of the year at the 2021 national Fit & Well Awards.

The hospice’s latest patron, actor Peter Egan, made a speech praising the charity’s work before cutting a purple ribbon to start the event. Peter’s wife of 49 years, Myra, was cared for by the hospice team before she died in March.

“It was very special to host our first large-scale event for more than two years and the community really did pull out all the stops to support the event and get behind it,” said Phil.

“We are incredibly grateful to our event sponsors Trident Honda, McLaren and our volunteers for all their support in enabling the event to happen.”

He also thanked Fairoaks Airport and the Horsell Common Preservation Society for their support, Heather Farm café for feeding the walkers, Team-Medic for first aid cover, Natta specialist contractors for their help, Boz’s for supplying fruit and Bonnie from Twisted Bliss and Brooklands Radio for entertaining.

“Most important of all, I want to say a huge thank you to our magnificent walkers and everyone that has sponsored them.”

For more on this story, see the picture spread in the News & Mail 21 October edition