Princess Alice Hospice Chief Executive Nicki Shaw starts the evening off before guests enter the inflatable planetarium
Guests were treated to a trip round numerous galaxies and an array of mind-boggling statistics about space, at a special event staged by Princess Alice Hospice.

The night sky was brought down to Earth, courtesy of astrophysicist Dr Mark Galloway and his remarkable inflatable planetarium.

The event was put on to raise awareness of the Esher-based Hospice’s Care Through The Night campaign which supports the Night Nurse service.

The prestigious venue for the planetarium was the Founders Dining Hall at Royal Holloway University, Egham – who generously gave the space for the evening and recruited Physics student ambassadors Catriona and Lizzie to assist.

Dr Galloway started with showing familiar constellations projected on the inside of the black dome, then moved on to share amazing facts and figures about the universe, current astrophysics research – and some ancient myths and legends related to the stars. A lively Q&A followed the presentation.

The audience also heard about the personal experiences of Hospice nurses Camilla and Sallyann – both from the Night Nursing team. They spoke movingly of their vocation as well as the touching, sad and sometimes uplifting moments they share with patients and their families in the hours of darkness.

‘The setting could not have been better,’ said one guest, while another commented: ‘The real stars of the night were Camilla and Sallyann.’

Hospice Partnerships Lead Alison Adams said:

“I was very pleased to have the opportunity to meet some of our supporters who feel particularly passionate about the care and support our Hospice provides through the night.

“Many of our guests support our Hospice in memory of a loved one; we rely more and more on the community’s support to ensure we are here for more people, when and where they need us most.

“This star-gazing event was a fabulous opportunity to say thank you and raise awareness of the difference their support can, and does make.”