ST MARY’S Hospice celebrated its 30th anniversary year with the biggest ever number of supporters taking part in its annual Walk to Remember.

More than 850 people from across Furness participated in the 10-mile route, from Ulverston to Barrow, with many walking in memory of loved ones cared for by the hospice. Money raised by the event will go towards the hospice’s running costs.

Sponsored by Orsted, the evening began at Ulverston Better Leisure Centre with the vocal talents of Lorraine Kafanke and Denis Horan and then a dance display by Dance Active and Elite Dance and Fitness. There was also magic in the air as Lakes Wedding magicians entertained the crowd.

With special Walk T-shirts and selfie boards, a photo booth and face painting, there was plenty to create a vibrant atmosphere.

Mel Dixon, St Mary’s events and challenges fundraiser, gave an emotional speech thanking walkers for their support. She said: “Tonight is all about you and remembering your loved ones. Each and every one of you will have a story behind why you have joined us here tonight, I hope we have created an environment that allows you all to share, reflect and most importantly smile.”

Walkers were led out to the sounds of Boom Dang. The next stop was Charnley’s Home & Garden, Dalton, which provided facilities and refreshments, with Tesco Barrow Community donating healthy snacks too. Walkers were looked after by volunteer marshals and cheered on by St Mary’s care staff at check points.

Walkers crossed the finishing line at Furness Academy – under a balloon arch donated by Robert Kitchin from Inspirations, Ulverston – and received a medal to mark their achievement. Furness Academy provided snacks and a welcome rest for weary feet.

St Mary’s looks set to raise more than £45,000.