Around 1,700 people stepped forward as the Stars Appeal Walk for Wards returned to Wilton House at the weekend (Sunday 3rd July), raising an estimated £90,000 for Salisbury District Hospital’s Charity.
It was the first time in three years the walk has been held at Wilton House after the last two events had to take place virtually due to Covid 19.
In perfect walking weather, Lord Pembroke, President of the Stars Appeal, welcomed the crowd to his home before handing over to Salisbury District Hospital Chief Executive Stacey Hunter who gave examples of how the charity helps local people being treated at the Hospital and the NHS staff who care for them. A poignant moment of silence was held after which Greatest Hits radio presenter Martin Starke led a countdown and Lord Pembroke, Stacey Hunter and David Newton from main sponsor Salisbury Reds were joined by Stars Appeal Ambassadors to cut the ribbon to get the walk underway.
Lots of walkers were taking part in the annual event to thank the hospital for the care that they, or a loved one, has received or to dedicate their walk in memory of a friend, parent, sibling or child. Many wore signs on their backs detailing the reasons they were taking part and the ward or department at the Hospital they were raising funds for. Participants in the walk chose to walk either a 10k, 5k or 3k . All routes were marshalled by a team led by the Rotary Club of Wilton.
Gemma Heath of the Stars Appeal who organises Walk for Wards said: “It was wonderful to see everyone back at Wilton House after three years away. We were so touched that so many people came out to support their local Hospital charity and that they had such special reasons for doing so. The walk is a team effort and we’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make it possible: our hosts Lord and Lady Pembroke and the Wilton Estate team, our principal sponsors Salisbury Reds, our marshals led by the Rotary Club of Wilton, our volunteers, and especially to all the walkers and everyone who sponsored them, the money they have raised will change lives.”