FIRE shows, fluorescent lights and a fresh new route will revitalise one of the city's most established fundraisers.

This year Sobell House Hospice announced a series of Light the Night events, in Bicester, Oxford and Didcot, to replace and expand on the former Moonlight Stroll event in Oxford.

It is now registering supporters for the Oxford walk, which is a 10-mile marshalled route and will take people past some of the city's most iconic landmarks.

Hundreds of people are expected to take part on Saturday, July 20, starting at Bury Knowle Park in Headington.

Teacher Katie Hannaford, who has marshalled the Moonlight Stroll for several years, will be walking with colleagues in memory of a school governor who died at Sobell earlier this year.

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She said: "From my experience as a marshal, and once walking the Moonlight Stroll, I can honestly say that the event is a lovely, memorable and uplifting occasion.

"Everyone there, despite the incredibly sad reasons for them being part of it, makes the event a positive experience.

"Raising money for Sobell is incredibly important and doing it in a fun environment, with people who share something with you in so many ways, is heartwarming stuff."

Mrs Hannaford has supported Sobell since her dad, Terry Beardall, spent the last two weeks of his life there in 2002.

She said: "When my dad went to Sobell, I had not heard of them before - I was only 22 and I didn’t really know that much at all about hospices.

"My dad had just turned 50 when he died and as I now creep closer towards that age myself, I realise just how young he was.

"It can happen to any one of us at any time, and I can’t imagine going through that same experience without the support of a place like Sobell."

Oxford Mail:

Katie Hannaford with her late father Terry Beardall

The hospice is a charity and relies on donations to pay for its services, and Mrs Hannaford said it is a 'travesty' that it does not get more government funding.

She added: "It is so important to raise money to ensure they can keep providing for the community in Oxfordshire.

"I never would have thought we’d need them at the time that we did, but it could happen to any one of us.

"I dearly hope we don’t have to go through it as a family again for a long, long time, but if we do, I know I’d want Sobell House to be there for us.

"Fundraising is a hugely important part of keeping them going, and helping other families like ours in their darkest times."

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The Moonlight Stroll had taken place in Oxford every year since 2007, and saw hundreds of people stride through the city at night – often in fancy dress – following an eight or nine-mile route.

Its successor, Light the Night Oxford, opens with entertainment at 8pm in Bury Knowle Park, and the walk itself starts at 9.30pm.

Cara Waller, events manager at Sobell, said: “We want to invite as many people as we can to join us, to support our work to provide dignified and compassionate care for people across Oxfordshire.

"We are starting the walk in the heart of Headington, where the hospice is located and where we have a strong supporter base."

Adult tickets cost £25 and tickets for children aged 10-16 are £20, but anyone who registers this Saturday or Sunday will automatically receive £5 off.

To register,