The May sunshine brought out hundreds to the streets of east London for a Sparkle Walk in aid of a children's charity.

Some 300 people lit up the streets dressed in purple with an array of glitter, fancy dress, sparkles and smiles all raising money for Haven House Children’s Hospice.

Preschool manager Shraddha Patel cut the ribbon to start the walk. She has taken part in the event for the last four years and has so far raised more than £3,000 for the hospice herself.

“Haven House provides strength when children and their families need it most,” she said.

“All those involved at the hospice are just superheroes. I am just playing a very small part in raising funds which will allow the charity to continue supporting families.

Ilford Recorder: Preparing for the Sparkle WalkPreparing for the Sparkle Walk (Image: David Monteith-Hodge)

“This wonderful charity is on my doorstep, having lived and worked in Woodford High Road for 24 years.”

The sponsored trek now in its fifth year and this edition started with members of Dance 21 Woodford studio, which runs lessons for youngsters with Down's Syndrome, giving an energetic warm-up at St Mary with Christ Church in Wanstead.

The youngest taking part was a seven-year-old girl who completed seven miles — one for every year of her age — while the eldest walker was a man of 85 taking part with his family.

The 346 walkers completed the 10k route around Wanstead, Woodford and South Woodford before finishing at The Cuckfield pub with a glass of fizz.

Ilford Recorder: Pavements filled up with participantsPavements filled up with participants (Image: David Monteith-Hodge)

They raised an incredible £40,000 towards caring for seriously ill children and their families, with the event having been sponsored by staff at Bowden Bradley estate agents in Hainault.

Hospice fundraising manager Reiko Murray said: “Our charity couldn’t exist without the community’s support.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better evening with the sun shining and all our volunteers who came out as guides along the route. It was incredible seeing people of all ages stepping up to raise money for us."

Ilford Recorder: Walkers enjoying the eventWalkers enjoying the event (Image: David Monteith-Hodge)

Haven House was first conceived in the early 1990s by Sue Irwin, a registered nurse and health visitor who set up the charity to raise funds for a purpose-built hospice to provide care to life-limited children and their families without charging fees.

Her charity acquired a 99-year lease on The White House, a listed former family home set in four acres of protected woodland along Woodford High Road.

But the hospice depends on public donations to keep its vital services running.