Walk of Hope 2009

At the beginning of this year a small team including Karen Brown and myself, applied to do the 40 mile Keswick to Barrow walk to raise funds for Hands of Hope Romania. Despite the walk being in May, and our application going in in January, demand was so great that our application was unsuccessful.

Though this was frustrating, it gave birth to an idea. As there was clearly a great demand for such long walks (more fit and or mad people than I realised!) why not create our own annual long distance walk to raise funds for Hands of Hope?

A 25 mile route taking in the four hills of Billinge, Ashurst, Parbold and Harrock was devised, along with a short 4 mile route. Spring and summer were spent getting the official clearance necessary for the event, walking various routes to decide the best, and creating a website. Many people had input to all this, too many to name here, but a big thank you to all of you! The event was planned for 5th September and called the “Walk of Hope”, primarily to reflect the link with Hands of Hope, but also that the event might bring hope to other situations through other charities that some walkers might raise for.

Unfortunately, a month before the event I sustained injuries in a biking accident that ruled me out of the event. Furthermore, another of the walk guides, Martin, was also ill in the days leading up to the event, and so we were increasingly hoping numbers would be small enough to manage. This was the case with about 35 people taking part in the day, plus a number of helpers – my heartfelt thanks to them too. This proved to be an ideal size for a first event, and a few lessons were learnt for next year. The weather began wet, but all the walkers showed great commitment. The weather improved through the day and at the finish all walkers and helpers said they’d been really glad to be a part of it.

The event raised nearly £3000 in total, with approximately £1300 to date for Hands of Hope, and £1631 raised by two walkers for medical help for a child with a brain tumour. This exceeded my expectations and is a great spur to begin the preparation for next year’s event.

If you, or someone you know, would like to take part in either a 10 or a 25 mile walk next September, then look out for further details next year on this blog or at www.walkofhope.co.uk.

Trevor Hilton