The annual sponsored walk around the Wilton Estate, which attracts thousands of participants every year, takes place on Sunday, July 9.
Walk for Wards 2023 was officially launched on Friday, January 27 at Wilton House by Stars Appeal President, Lord Pembroke, who was joined by some of the charity’s Hospital Ambassadors along with representatives from Salisbury Reds, the event’s principal sponsors, and Wilton Rotary Club, who are marshalling the event.
Lord Pembroke said: “It is really exciting to be hosting Walk for Wards again. My family and I enjoyed every minute of it last year. It is the most incredible family event and community get-together combined with fantastic surroundings and a wonderful atmosphere. It really is one of my favourite events of the summer.
“It is an amazing family event so tell your friends, tell your relatives, anyone you know who might have benefitted from the Hospital, to join the walk and have a fantastic day out.”
There is a choice of three routes including the family friendly 3k or a 5k walk but for those looking for more of a challenge there is the 10k.
Consultant Surgeon and Chair of the Stars Appeal’s Clinical Ambassadors, Mr Graham Branagan, said: “It’s the flagship fundraising event for the Stars Appeal and an opportunity for people to show their appreciation of the care they or their relatives have had over the years, and it is a wonderful chance to enjoy a walk in the splendid grounds of Wilton House.”
Money raised from Walk for Wards goes towards the £1million that the Stars Appeal is aiming to raise this year to fund projects at the Hospital which help thousands of patients and the NHS staff who care for them.
Mr Branagan added: “I never fail to be amazed by the time, effort, energy, and the money that people will give to the charity and the profound difference that makes to patients and staff in a multitude of different ways – there are so many Stars Appeal projects.”
The walk, which is free to enter, is sponsored by Salisbury Reds and held by kind permission of Lord Pembroke, with support from Wilton Rotary Club marshals. It also includes a free lunch and admission to the Wilton House grounds as well as the adventure playground afterwards.
David Newton, Salisbury Reds Operations Manager, said: “As principal sponsor of the event, we are keen to help raise as much money as possible for the Stars Appeal. Many of our team have close links to the charity and this is a great chance for us to support this very worthy cause.
“The Walk for Wards event is a fantastic family occasion - giving local people the opportunity to get sponsored to enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Wilton House. I can’t think of a better way to enjoy a Sunday this summer, than to spend it in support of this vital community resource.”
Walkers are asked to sign up in advance and commit to raising at least £20 sponsorship for their chosen ward or department at Salisbury District Hospital.
Last year, marked the return of Walk for Wards to Wilton House after two years of the event being held virtually due to Covid. Around 1,700 people took part and more than £95,000 was raised.
To sign up or for more information go to: starsappeal.org/event/walk-for-wards