Staff at this newspaper braved temperatures of over 1,200F to raise money for a local hospice on Tuesday night.

A noisy crowd gathered in the darkness outside St Raphael’s Hospice in North Cheam to watch 40 people complete a sponsored firewalk.

They included the group editor, Sean Duggan and five other journalists who had undergone two hours of motivational psychology to prepare them for the big moment.

They stormed out to cheers from the crowd and each one took it in turns to pace across 20ft of burning wood embers.

Mr Duggan said afterwards: "I am delighted that we all crossed safely and want to say a big thank you to everyone who has sponsored us so far.

"We want to raise £1,500 for the hospice and are hoping that others will help us reach that target by making a donation on our just giving page

"Staff at this hospice move mountains to ensure people at the end of their lives can die with dignity and without pain."

The evening was an important one for many who had lost loved ones and for those who wanted to say thank you for all the work the hospice does.

Anita Barclay, from Sutton, braved the fire with friends and family from Epsom and Morden.

She said: "It felt warm under your feet - it felt more uncomfortable standing on the tarmac before.

"It was good to do something different. We probably would do it again next year."

Pauline Ridgley, a fundraising administrator at the hospice, took part to celebrate working at the hospice for 10 years.

She said: "I didn’t want to go first and I didn’t want to go last. I really enjoyed it - it was over too quickly."

St Raphael's Hospice treats terminally ill patients from Sutton and Merton. It is free of charge and cares for 900 patients each year.

It costs £4 million a year to provide the services. Sutton and Merton PCT provide a £1 million grant, however £3 million has to be raised from charitable donations, fundraising and legacies.

There is still time to sponsor the Guardian team at