WALK for Wards became the Stars Appeal’s biggest ever fundraising event on Sunday with more than £50,000 pledged to support the work of Salisbury District Hospital.

There were 1,129 walkers who signed up to tackle the 10km or 3km route around the Wilton House estate.

On their backs they wore signs stating their reasons for walking and there were many moving and emotional stories.

“There was a little girl who said she had a baby sister thanks to the special baby care unit and many others who had undergone treatment at the hospital,” said director of the Stars Appeal, Dave Cates.

“We also had someone who had learned to walk again thanks to rehabilitation at the hospital and people whose families and friends were currently undergoing treatment.

“There were also people walking in memory of loved ones.

“You do feel mixed emotions but also a tremendous sense of pride that the community is coming together to support its local hospital.”

From people in their 80s to babies pushed around in prams, the event was open to everyone.

Walkers could choose which ward to walk for and their sponsorship money will go to fund projects in departments including the stroke ward, burns unit, cancer ward, cardiac unit, children’s ward and neonatal intensive care.

Chairman of the Stars Appeal committee, Toddy Moore started the event which was sponsored by Wilts and Dorset and marshalled by members of Wilton Rotary Club.

“Hundreds of volunteers made it happen,” said Mr Cates.

“We have never quite broken through the £50,000 mark before and now we need everyone to send in their sponsorship money to make it the most successful fundraising event yet.”