Rowans opens registrations for Moon and Stars Memories Walk

Words: Connor Steel

Artwork: Rowans Hospice

REGISTRATIONS have been opened this week for a special event combining exercise and remembrance, with the popular Moon and Stars Memories Walk scheduled to be held later this month.

The event, due to be held on July 31, is aimed at raising money for the Rowans Hospice Charity, who provide providing free care and support to adults in our community who have a life-limiting illness and their families including those across both boroughs.

In 2019 the charity raised over £120,000 from the walking activities, which included hard-earned fundraising from all participants as they held UK wide events throughout the year.

But like all other good causes, the charity’s income and fundraising options fell short last year with cancellations caused by lockdown restrictions – explaining why organisers are excited to announce a subtle change to include everybody behind one common purpose.

Beginning the long road to recovery, organisers have blended together to combine two popular walks into an evening of entertainment and exercises in Southsea, with approximately twenty slots available depending on distance and age group.

Portsmouth Cathedral 

With the much-loved Moonlit Memories Walk (adults) and Starlit Walks (children) running alongside each other rather than be held on separate days or weekends, it provides a great opportunity to remember lost ones and Portsmouth Cathedral will be opened for visitors to pay their own respects in their chosen way.

For this event to go ahead with some uncertainty about easing lockdown by July 31, the charity has set out a list of steps being implemented to match regulations whilst maintaining social distancing.

Social distancing and hand washing measures will be advised upon by team members, while start times will be staggered and face masks need to be worn if inside the Cathedral buildings.

These regulations are unlikely to change, regardless of whether stage four of lockdown easing is given the green light by Boris Johnson in mid-July, so participants are warned that the event can be cancelled or postponed at short notice pending any sudden change in lockdown circumstances.

However, Covid-19 restrictions have eased so it has prompted a change in the charity’s usual route.

According to Rowan Hospice’s website; the combined Moon and Stars Memories Walk is approximately three miles long.

Pick a distance

Participants can choose their preferred distances from three miles (one lap), six miles (two laps) and nine miles (three laps), with slots available from 6pm to 9.30pm that evening.

Any interested parties are asked to pick a distance and time from the link above; with the opportunity to add larger groups or families to join the fundraiser.

The event will start at Castle Point, which is located in Southsea and adjacent to the town’s castle to the west of the main common.

Parking can be found at the D-Day Museum, although this will depend on availability and  pending approval from the popular wartime centre; pay and display car parks can also be found throughout the city, with public transport links available.

This new route will still be taking in the views of many fantastic and iconic sites of Portsmouth and Southsea, including the Spinnaker Tower, Clarence Pier, and the Round Tower, making it a must visit for everybody with an interest in history or wartime events.

Prices range from £0 to £10 per ticket depending on age and distance, with slots likely to increase over the next seven days as people book their summer’s evening walk for a good cause.

Under-threes go free, while all children under 16 qualify for a reduced ticket at £5. Information on ‘concession’ tickets is currently unavailable.

Brighter clothes

Participants are further asked to dress in brighter clothes, which may include tutu’s, layers, funky leggings, fairy lights, glow sticks, or fancy dress alongside the Moonlit T-shirt (available for a suggested £5 donation).

If any potential participants would like further information, they have been advised to visit as soon as possible.

Any other enquires can be sent by email or phone, with this available on the Rowans Charity website.

Stores are located in Stoke Road, Gosport, Lee-on-the-Solent and Fareham shopping centre to provide advice on specific needs or advice. Registrations close on July 28, so let’s all go on a summer evening walk and raise money for charity.