ORGANISERS of a Hampshire charity’s biggest annual fundraiser are hoping this year’s event will be the best yet.

Walk for Hope, staged in aid of Wessex Cancer Trust, is returning to the New Forest and will be held at Burley on June 9.

About 300 people took part in the 2018 walk, which netted more than £50,000.

This year the Eastleigh-based charity hopes more walkers than ever will stride out in a bid to raise vital funds for people living with cancer.

For the first time organisers are providing a five-mile option for those reluctant to tackle a ten or 20-mile trek.

Philip Wilson, 38, who raised £670 by walking ten miles at last year’s Walk for Hope, said: “I work for John Lewis in Southampton, which chose Wessex Cancer Trust’s Waterside Cancer Support Centre in Hythe as its charity of the year.

Philip said he met people who had won - or were winning - their battle against cancer as well as those whose disease was incurable.

He added: “I burst into tears reading the dedications on people’s backs.

“I had a moment in the middle when I thought about the many people I’ve known whose lives have been affected by cancer.

“It was also a personal challenge for me – something to train for and a way of getting fitter and healthier.”

Laura Beavis, Wessex Cancer Trust’s events manager, added: “The peace and beauty of the New Forest make it a fitting setting to come together to give hope to friends and family undergoing cancer treatment, remember loved ones and support everyone affected by cancer.

“We would love the 2019 Walk for Hope to be the biggest and best yet.”

Anyone registering before March 31 will be eligible for discounted entry fees of £10 for a child under 16, £20 for adults, £70 for a team of four and £4 for dogs.

All of the money raised will be used to provide practical and emotional support to people living with cancer in Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset and the Isle of Wight.

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