MORE than £100,000 has been pledged for the Stars Appeal at this year’s Walk for Wards.

Taking place at Wilton Estate, 2,000 took part in Sunday’s event to help raise funds towards the charity’s £1 million target for specialist equipment and projects at Salisbury District Hospital.

Walkers had the choice of a 3k, 5k or 10k route, and were joined by special guest DS Nick Bailey, who was a patient on the hospital’s Radnor intensive care ward last year after being exposed to the nerve agent Novichok.
Speaking before the walk, DS Bailey said he would “probably not be here today had it not been for the skill, professionalism and compassion” shown by staff at the hospital. 
DS Bailey was joined on stage by Stars Appeal chairman Penny Brown, host Lord Pembroke, Richard Gagg of Salisbury Reds, and Martin Starke of Spire FM before cutting the ribbon to start the walk.

The event was sponsored by Salisbury Reds, marshalled by the Rotary Club of Wilton and supported by the Salisbury Journal and many other local organisations.

Penny Brown, chairman of the Stars Appeal said: “Chatting with lots of the walkers before the start was a humbling experience for me as so many stories were related - some happy, some terribly sad, but seeing everyone coming together in such a magical location to make a difference was very emotional.

“It’s all about community and hundreds of local people turned out to show the depth of their love and support towards the Stars Appeal. A true example of the community uniting and a splendid form of fundraising. Thank you everyone who took part. “

The Stars Appeal is Salisbury District Hospital's charity. It aims to raise £1m this year to fund projects which offer direct, practical support to patients and their families, over and above what the NHS provides. These include cancer support, help for older and dementia patients, a child friendly children’s ward and parents accommodation, hospital chaplains, free Wi-Fi  and advanced equipment in key areas such as cancer surgery, cardiac care and the neonatal unit as well as enhancing the patient environment across the hospital.