HOSPICE supporter Val Wright chose a novel way to show her backing for the organisation this year – pacing the decks of a cruise ship in the middle of the night.

Val, from Crewe, is a committed supporter of St Luke’s (Cheshire) Hospice, and has taken part in most of the charity’s Midnight Walks since the event started in 2004.

It was the 10th anniversary of the walk this year, and Val thought she would have to miss out on taking part because she was on a cruise.

However Jane Thompson, the hospice’s head of event management, had other ideas, and suggested that Val do the 13.1-mile fundraiser around the cruise ship.

Sporting this year’s pink Midnight Walk T-shirt, Val undertook the strenuous walk alone around the deck in the middle of the night.

The cruise set sail from Southampton, visiting Madeira, the Canary Islands and Lisbon, and Val received a great deal of support and sponsorship from fellow guests and staff as she geared up for her challenge.

“With the help and support of Captain Simon Terry I began pacing around the deck in the pitch black,” said Val.

“With no-one around it was very scary, but my thoughts were instead with my sister, who was cared for by St Luke’s.

“I met some lovely people on board the cruise, who were more than happy to sign my sponsorship form, which made it all the more worthwhile.

“I’m still getting people stopping me in the street to sponsor me, and I’m hoping to raise £1,000 plus some gift aid once all the money is collected.

“I would also like to say a big thank you to all my friends, who took my word that I would do it – and I did!”

Jane Thompson said: “We are all very impressed by Val’s determination, and to complete the 13.1-mile walk while on holiday, let alone a cruise, is dedication to the cause.”

Pledged sponsorship from this year’s Midnight Walk was £175,000, which will go towards caring for people from mid and south Cheshire. The money will provide 23 days of hospice care.