HUNDREDS gathered at a popular beach for the launch of a charity’s newest fundraiser.

St Helena Hospice’s Walk of Memories brought about 400 residents to West Mersea beach to help raise money for the charity.

The event began with an in memorial service on the sands, where each walker was given a special memorial windmill, sponsored by Wilkin and Sons Tiptree.

Walkers were encouraged to decorate them with a message, drawing or photo before planting them in the sand.

Following the ceremony, walkers completed the one mile or five mile route across the island.

St Helena Hopsice is hoping to raise £14,000 from the new fundraiser once sponsorship money is collected.

Lisa Chesney, St Helena Hospice’s events fundraiser, said: “It was touching to see so many people come together to remember a loved one, and it was made all the more special by the wonderful in memory service given by hospice chaplain, Vickie Peters.

“Thank you also to our amazing volunteers who helped set up the event and marshal the routes – we couldn’t put on our events without their help and support.

“I am always overwhelmed by the generosity of our community and the support shown to St Helena Hospice.”

To find out more about future events, visit