Sunshine greeted more than 400 walkers taking part in this year's Ashbourne Breast Cancer Walk. Gareth Butterfield speaks to the organisers.
WALKERS in onesies were among the hundreds who turned out to support the annual Ashbourne Breast Cancer Walk.
It is an event which has blossomed over the years into a massive fund-raiser which has paid for equipment to help women affected by breast cancer.
For the sixth year, walkers dressed in pink, or in elaborate costumes, met up at Carsington Water ready to circumnavigate the Severn Trent reservoir's eight miles of footpath on Saturday.
Organisers had arranged a send-off and a welcoming committee for the walkers, who were treated to hot sunshine for most of the event, in a field near to the entrance of the reservoir and a bar and refreshments were laid on.
Organiser Josie Winbow, who founded the event with her friend, Claire Brennan, said: "It was absolutely amazing – probably the best we've done in the six years.
"This year, we were lent a different field which meant we were able to have everything in one area.
"The number of people who joined up and took on the walk was lower but the support was still there and the atmosphere was really good.
"I think the numbers were lower this year because people have been put off by the weather we've had in the past, but hopefully they'll start coming back and it'll be even better next year."
Walkers ranged in age from four years right up to over 70. Josie and Claire hope to raise around £10,000 from the walk this year.
Throughout its history the event, along with associated activities that happen over the year in support of the walk, have raised nearly £75,000, which has so far paid for two machines at the Royal Derby Hospital's Breast Cancer Unit.
Josie said: "We'd like to thank all the people who made the effort to turn out. It must have been more difficult to walk in the heat than it is in the poor weather, but we're really proud of everyone."
Before the walk, a warm-up exercise was led by fitness instructor Lindsey Steeples and a bar was set up in a marquee by the Bowling Green.
Ashbourne Running Club and Ashbourne Diving Club also lent a hand with marshalling the event, and Peak Waste supplied the medals.
More events are planned throughout the year to help boost the fund-raising total, which will be presented to nurses on the ward.