ABOUT 250 people strode out on the annual St Richard’s Hospice Midnight Walk, with men joining the fun for the first time.

The ladies’ midnight walk and men’s fancy dress drag walk set off at midnight on Saturday, July 7, on five and 10-mile routes around Worcester.

Senior fundraiser Alison Parkes said: “The rain held off and we had a great night. There were some fabulous outfits among the ladies and the men it was hard to tell who were the best dressed.

“We want to say a big thank you to everyone who took part and we hope to have raised in excess of £10,000.”

The walkers warmed up with fitness instructor Sue Thomas of Start2exercise.

Volunteers acted as marshals along the route and walkers feasted on an early breakfast at the Countryside Centre when they had finished. The last walkers crossed the finishing line at 4.40am.

Dee Minor, who took part in the Tibberton Fossils team from the village primary school, near Droitwich, said: “Our team thoroughly enjoyed the Midnight Walk.

“Thank you to all who helped to make it a fun event.”

St Richard’s Hospice provides free specialist palliative care for patients living with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses and supports their families.

Each year the hospice team supports more than 2,300 patients and family members in Worcestershire.

Patients are cared for in the day hospice, the 16-bed inpatient unit, or in their own homes by a specialist professional team as well as many trained volunteers.

In the inpatient unit specialist staff are on hand 24 hours a day to manage patients’ symptoms and where, if they so choose, patients may spend the last few days of life in comfort and dignity.