MORE than 1,000 women have signed up to take part in a night-time charity walk to raise vital funds for Barnsley Hospice. Barnsley Hospice ‘Midnight Walk’ fund-raisers will walk either five or ten miles through the night of June 23. It is hoped the women’s efforts, together with those of other local supporters, will help top the £100,000 raised by the event last year.

Organiser Helen Macintosh said she and colleagues had been overwhelmed by backing for the walk – now in its sixth year. She said: “Last year 1,350 women took part but we’re well ahead in terms of people already signed up at this stage, so numbers on the night are looking even better for this year. “Most people have signed up for the longer challenge. We’ve got different generations of the same families, friends in groups, and individuals all coming together to play their part and it promises to be a special night that people will remember.” The event has also attracted huge support from businesses who have donated cash, services, or products for the event. These include treats like cookies and chocolate to keep the walkers going along the route, which starts and ends at Grange Lane, Stairfoot, as well as breakfast at the end. Organisers are keen to see more walkers register and also would like to hear from any volunteers willing to help marshal the route and serve refreshments. The walk, which starts at midnight, is on a Hawaiian theme this year and special merchandise has been produced for the event, including grass skirts, leis and coconut bras. Walkers can buy items for their costumes as well as register and collect their numbers from the hospice between 2pm and 7pm on May 31 and June 7. Barnsley Hospice has ten beds for inpatient care and provides day care in its Limes Unit as well as a wide range of other services. It has to find £1.9m on top of its NHS grant of £1.6m every year and relies heavily on volunteers, donations and sales at its nine shops around the borough. For more information about the walk and to register go to