FAMILIES, friends and complete strangers will be walking by moonlight at an historic location to remember loved ones and raise money for a North-East hospice.

The Butterwick Hospice is holding its Moonlight Ribbon Walk at Raby Castle, at Staindrop, County Durham, on October 6, starting at 7pm.

The 5k route, which is suitable for all ages, takes walkers around the castle, starting in the walled gardens, through the beautiful grounds and woods and back past the ponds. Dogs are welcome but must be kept on leads.

Participants will be supplied with blue ribbons and encouraged to write messages on them in memory of loved ones.

One of those taking part is Brigitte Hodgson, from Middleton-in-Teesdale, whose father, David Kneller, received help from the hospice in the last days of his life.

After spending five weeks in hospital, and being diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour, David knew that his life was limited, and he wanted to spend what was left of it at home - the same home he’d lived in all his life - surrounded by his family.

James Cook Hospital provided information about the Butterwick Hospice, which provided carers daily.

Brigitte said: “As a family, we had always made donations to the hospice’s shop in Barnard Castle, but we didn’t really know about the work they did with families. The members of the team who came to the house were wonderful. They were very good at explaining what was happening, and helped us to understand that what we were feeling was normal.

“Dad was only at home for six days before he died in May 2017, and someone from the Butterwick sat with him every night so that we could rest. That support was invaluable so that we could function and care for Dad ourselves the following day.

“The carers were so supportive, comforting, and caring, but, above all, they were unobtrusive, and they normalised what was a very alien experience for us. We didn’t know what was going to happen next, but they made us feel that we were doing the right thing for Dad.”

Brigitte, her daughter Lilia, and sister, Ingrid Tingle, are doing the walk and raising money to say ‘thank you’ to the hospice.

Adults are asked to pay £15, Under-12s £10.. Groups of five adults are £65. To find out more and register click here