They were walking in an autumnal wonderland to help sick children in South Yorkshire.
A warm October sun smiled down on hundreds of walkers who took to Derbyshire’s Derwent Valley to raise cash for Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
The Three Dams Walk is set to provide a huge boost to an appeal for a new ward designed to help youngsters with muscle and bone conditions such as cerebral palsy and brittle bone disease.
Men, women, children and a host of four-legged friends took part in five, 10 or 15-mile treks to raise money for the new facility. The current ward, which treated almost 2,000 patients last year, has just 20 beds and one bathroom.
So far, the total has exceeded the £4,000 mark, with cash still rolling in.
David Vernon-Edwards, from the children’s hospital charity, said: “It was absolutely fantastic to see so many people take part in The Three Dams Walk and we couldn’t have asked for better weather.
“The new ward we are raising money for will form part of a £40 million transformation of Sheffield Children’s Hospital.”
Plans for the new ward include single occupancy rooms for patients, including a bed for parents to stay with their child, and improved specialist equipment.
Among those who took part in the 15-mile walk was James Gude, 17, and his family, to thank the doctors and nurses who treated him when he was infected with life-threatening bacteria E Coli when he was just four.
Although James will be on medication for the rest of his life, he is now happy and healthy and looking for an apprenticeship.
He said: “Although it was a long time ago, I can still remember the doctors and nurses because they were so nice to me.
“I was only discharged a few weeks ago because I had regular check-ups, so the hospital has been a big part of my life.
“My family thought the walk would be a brilliant way to give something back.”