More than 300 people took part in an emotional night-time charity walk at The Lost Gardens of Heligan on Saturday night.
Children’s Hospice South West’s (CHSW) Moonlight Memory Walk took place under clear skies at the gardens in Pentewan near St Austell, a new location for the event, which has been held in Falmouth since 2009.
It is expected to raise £25,000 for the charity, which runs the Little Harbour children’s hospice in nearby Porthpean.
The 4k walk featured light installations and poignant places to stop and remember loved ones. A special Star Garden installation featured 89 shooting stars, one for each bereaved family supported by Little Harbour.
Beforehand, participants many proudly wearing hand written dedications to loved ones, joined a special memory ceremony at the entrance to the gardens, where they listened to poems read by Little Harbour staff, as well as speeches from families that use the hospice, and performances by Cornwall Rock Choir.
The memory ceremony was also live streamed on Facebook for those who wanted to take part in the event virtually.
Kiley Pearce, Events Fundraiser for CHSW, said: “We were overwhelmed with the response we had for our first Moonlight Memory Walk at The Lost Gardens of Heligan.
The route, memory stations and the Little Harbour light installation made it a truly memorable night for our bereaved families and supporters who were remembering their loved ones.
Little Harbour , which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, provides free support to children with life limiting illnesses and their families, including respite, palliative care, end of life care and bereavement support. Since the pandemic, the hospice also offers resilience stays, as well as support in families’ own homes.
Moonlight Memory Walk was kindly sponsored by Surf Bay Leisure, meaning that the money raised on the evening can go towards the vital care and support offered to local families.
Laura Chesterfield, Head of Visitor Experience at The Lost Gardens of Heligan, said: “We’re thrilled to finish our support of this year’s chosen charity in such a moving and beautiful way. This is a moment of remembrance, celebration and also to reflect, as we find light in the darkness of winter, and bring all families together in a very special place.”