SUNSHINE and the sizzling sounds of Samba helped make this year’s Walk for Wards at Wilton House another record breaker.
More than 1,600 people lined up for the 10k or 3k sponsored walks through the Wilton Estate, raising £80,000 for Salisbury District Hospital along the way.
Walkers chose either to support wards or departments that are close to their heart or raise funds for the work of the Stars Appeal across the hospital.
Poignant signs on their backs highlighted the many emotional reasons why people took part.
From families helped by the Benson bereavement suite in the maternity unit to those with loved ones being treated on the Pembroke cancer ward, stroke ward, Sarum children’s ward or cardiac care, many had deeply personal reasons for walking.
Cheryl Paddock from Winterbourne Earls, whose daughters Abigail 15, Jessica 14, and Summer, four, all have cystic fibrosis, was among those taking part with her team, called the Salty Angels.
She was joined by large family groups, Walk for Ward stalwarts and individuals taking part for the first time who all wanted to do their bit for their local hospital.
The Salisbury Plain Military Wives Choir sang as the walkers lined up before BBC news presenter Sally Taylor got the walk underway.
Brazilian inspired band Casa de Samba and their drum kits helped the walkers keep a steady pace and there was also a Northumbrian piper, some friendly Star Wars characters at the finish line and acrobatics from the Phoenix Stars cheerleading team.
Organiser Gemma Heath from the Stars Appeal said: “Walk for Wards just gets better and better. It was an amazing day with many people walking for some very special reasons, helping to raise a record-breaking £80,000 to help thousands of local people receiving care at the hospital.
“Thank you to all of them and to everyone who helped make the day such a success including Wilton Rotary Club for their fantastic marshalling and encouragement for the walkers on route