I’m delighted to introduce you to Novembers guest blog written by Sarah Barr. Sarah and her friends and work colleagues raised over £1,150 by getting their boots on for Macmillan, while conquering some personal challenges and having fun in the process. Suzie Warren, our Cornwall and Devon area fundraising manager picked up the cheque from the group, and shared some fish and chips with them too! She loved the story behind Sarah’s Social Strolls, and I do too.
Thanks to Sarah for writing this for us…..
We are a group of between twenty or thirty people, most of whom work for Morrison’s in Bodmin and who all enjoy walking. We are not the fittest people in the world! Infact, we are all tad overweight and carrying a bit too much timber!!!! We are also a group of people who would not really fit in with the normal activities of a large organisation (Pub nights, Casino nights, etc.)… we have a couple of people in our group who find it difficult to mix.
Anyway! Five years ago I set up a monthly walking group for us, and on the first Wednesday of the month we meet at Morrison’s to car share and travel all over Cornwall to spend a day hiking, chatty and eating (our days out always involve a picnic and some home made cake!!) We call ourselves ‘Sarah’s Social Strolls’ as it is just as much about socializing, chatting and getting out and about as the walking. We have become a group of close friends and we organise one big social event and one charity event each year. Over the last four years our charity events have been ‘Stride Cornwall / Midnight Moon Walk’ for Breast Cancer, The Bodmin Ten Tors (TWICE!!) for Cancer Research UK, and this year we decided to go with Macmillian for our charity. As everyone wanted a bigger challenge than the Ten Tors we decided to walk THE SAINTS WAY – an ancient path across Cornwall from Padstow in the north to Fowey in the south.
Nicholas Grigg, one of our walkers, organised walk leaflets and printed T shirts for us all and I arranged training sessions for everyone so we could all actually complete the challenge-taking small groups out walking each week longer distances so they could ease in their walking boots and sort out blisters etc. We also did bag packing at Morrison’s to raise some more money. The 2 day walk was a huge success – Nicholas Grigg lead the all the way flying the St Piran’s flag above his rucksac! Mel Chapman, 67 was our oldest walker and he did a stirling job – Obviously encouraged by ‘the ladies’!!!! But, Barry Clarke has to take the medal of achievement-he has never done anything like this before – he was at the back of the group all the way, but with encouragement from the rest of the team and knowing he was raising money for his chosen charity he did great. We all completed the challenge, including Skye and Alfie the dogs.