Starlight Walkers share their special reasons for taking part

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Two-year-old Rogen Allison and big brother Ryan will be staying up way beyond bedtime on Saturday to join in Saint Catherine’s Starlight Walk in memory of the nana they loved.

Ryan, eight, had such a special bond with his nana, Pat Allison, that he plans to walk the full 6.5-mile route to help the hospice even though the event doesn’t even start until three hours after he’s normally tucked up in bed.

Joining him will be his two-year-old brother, Rogen, who will also be doing the walk – though very possibly while nodding in his pushchair.

Ryan decided to take part in the event after his nana passed away in the hospice in April this year. Dad Richard said that she and Ryan were very close.

“She used to spoil him rotten,” he said. “They had a lovely relationship.”

Pat spent her final hours in the hospice and Richard said that they wanted to help Saint Catherine’s as a way of keeping her memory alive.

“We really wanted my Mum to come to the hospice,” he said. “It was where she wanted to be.”

Richard and his partner, Charlotte Hardy, will also be doing the walk. Charlotte, a former hospice volunteer, said that super-fit Ryan had already proved a star fundraiser.

He completed the 5K Race for Life earlier this year by running all the way and is now looking forward to his new challenge – not least because it involves eating ice cream at the Harbour Bar in the middle of the night.

“He’s really looking forward to it. He’s quite excited,” Charlotte said.

Hospice fundraiser Penny Campbell, who is organising the event, said they were delighted that Ryan and Rogen would be joining the walk.

“It’s such a fun event that we’re sure the children will love it,” she said.

This year’s walk on Saturday has an earlier start time of 10pm to allow more people to take part.

Fancy dress on a cops and robbers theme is optional, but registering in advance is essential. Call Penny on (01723) 378406 for more details about the event.