Community Service/ 2018 Fun Walk

Roger Kettle reports on his fund raising walk at Barleylands

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A Walk On The Sunny Side

Over £1425 raised for charity and good causes on a lovely day. Blue skies, just a gentle breeze and a temperature around 20oC. Just the sort of day to enjoy a healthy walk in the lovely Essex countryside. What could be better?

Well to have all that and then to have your walk sponsored by your Club colleagues, family and friends to raise money for the excellent “School in the Bag” charity........ plus with the promise of the walk sponsors, local businesses, to make an additional contribution on top of whatever sum you have already raised!

Since this John Barron MP initiative has been running for some years he was able to announce, before the walk started, that it had now raised £1,000,000 for charity. Quite an achievement!

Into The Pot

His great idea but so well supported by local businesses who donate monies to the walk, which goes into a pot that is then distributed in ratio to funds already raised for this event by official charitable organisations who are participating in the walk - such as ourselves. In the pot this year is approximately £40,000.

Patrick, Sarah, myself and our four grandchildren ranging from five to ten years all gathered at the start, after having looked at the side stalls that surrounded the arena.  John Barron said a few words and thanked the sponsors for their excellent and kind contributions and then led the start. I am not sure how many of us were there walking. I couldn’t count because my guess is in the thousands. 

The walk was divided into two courses. The main course being three miles but then there was an alternative course of half the distance for families, toddlers and the disabled. Our five-year-old and Sarah did this course but the three others all wanted to complete the full course. Not just complete the course but to win the event by finishing first. Their idea was to run the three miles!!

IPP Peter Greene acted as a marshal for the fifth year and saw them all at the point that the routes split, short v long.  Also, Mike Wade, Quilters head teacher, took part on behalf of his school – we sponsored him for a considerable sum – and he did the long walk.

Walk Not Run!

Of course, Patrick and I pointed out that was not the objective of this event but to enjoy the walk, looking at the scenery, wildlife, hedgerows and talking to fellow walkers. Running was the last thing in Patrick and my own minds! I think the children realised that perhaps we couldn’t run, so instead compromised and walked an incredibly fast pace making us keep up with them.

We didn’t finish first but my goodness we passed so many walkers and I believe, after starting well down the field, we were amongst perhaps first 30 /40 to finish. Oscar, Stanley and Tilly were delighted as they were given a medal and certificate for finishing the course by Basildon’s Mayor. 

Not such an honour, as everyone was given the same but a lovely idea and a nice way to finish the event and something for them to take home as a memory. It was good that they were also pleased that they themselves had contributed in raising money for our club and our chosen charity. As said at the beginning, a great charitable initiative from John Barron with such generous support from the local business sponsors all linked to a beautiful, healthy and fun walk.

My Thanks To A Great Team Effort

John Barron, in a press release, highlighted the event with the following bullet points:

  • Around 2,000 walkers and stallholders raised money for numerous charities and good causes.
  • “Because we know already the amount donated into this year’s bonus pot, this walk will bring the total monies since its inception in 2002 to over £1,000,000”

Exact total raised by the charities will be made known at the presentation evening on November 23 at Anisha Grange, Hallmark Care Homes, Billericay when bonus pot cheques will be awarded to each charity and good cause taking part. Bonus pot sponsors and press to be invited.

“We had a massive BBQ courtesy of Team Handsome, music thanks to Gateway97.8, refreshment tents and Town Crier, Jim Shrubb led the walk off and paid thanks.

Medals were awarded at the finish.
He added: “This has been a tremendous effort by all the volunteers and those concerned in helping people and animals less fortunate than ourselves.  This includes marshals and the Barleylands team, army cadets for parking duties, my own family, and of course, the committee.

Bonus pot sponsors were: Swan Housing, c2c, Abellio Greater Anglia, Tunnelcraft Ltd, Brown & Carroll, Hallmark Care Homes, Leonardo, McDonald’s, RSE Building Services and others.
“My final thanks to Hallmark Care Homes for sponsoring the medals, Abi’s Catering Supplies Ltd, Gateway 97.8  and Essex Ambulance Service. A great team effort.”
By Roger Kettle