MORE than £100,000 is anticipated to have been raised by people taking part in the Stars Appeal’s Walk for Wards which took place on Sunday at Wilton House.

Some 2,000 walkers enjoyed the sun-drenched parkland choosing to walk either a 10k, 5k or 3k route while raising funds for Salisbury District Hospital.

Addressing the walkers at the start line, consultant surgeon Helen Chave spoke about how money raised by the walkers will help enhance care for thousands of local people across many different wards and departments.

Miss Chave then introduced special guest, Damon Scott, from Britain’s got Talent, who spoke emotionally of how his cousin Charlie, who lost his battle with leukaemia aged nine, had benefited from the Stars Appeal funded enhancements to the children’s ward.

With many people walking to celebrate the life of a loved one, Miss Chave led the crowd in a moment of silence and reflection, before starting a countdown to commence the walk.

She said: "By coming here today and raising funds for our hospital you are doing something very special.

"Your support means so much to me and all of my fellow surgeons, doctors and nurses and, most importantly, all the local people who you are helping, including no doubt many of our friends, family members and loved ones and perhaps even some of us here today.

"On behalf of Salisbury Hospital, the Stars Appeal, but most importantly, all of those people that your support will help - thank you so much."

Damon Scott was joined by hospital chief executive Cara Charles-Barks, chairman Nick Marsden, Wilton mayor Peter Edge and Rich Gagg of Salisbury Reds to cut the ribbon.

Money raised from the event will help towards the Stars Appeal’s aim of raising £1million in 2017 to fund numerous projects including free accommodation for the parents of sick children and babies, psychological wellbeing projects for older patients and those with dementia, free WiFi and state-of-the-art medical equipment.

This year marked the tenth anniversary of the event with a total of £750,000 having been raised over the years.

It is sponsored by Salisbury Reds, hosted by Wilton Estate, marshalled by the Rotary Club of Wilton and supported by the Journal.