“Walk the Watercress Way” set to raise £7,000

This Rotary year Winchester Rotary’s chosen charity is Winchester Hospice. As the year nears its end (30 June) one of the last events was a sponsored walk along the Watercress Way which was held on Sunday 2 June. We were fortunate that the weather was lovely that day although we had had some serious rain in the days leading up to it which meant that some of the paths were very muddy and many had deep puddles which could only be negotiated wearing Wellington Boots which were not suitable for walking 10 kms +. So the Walk Team set about checking and rechecking the route, cutting back some of the foliage which  had shot up as a consequence of the rain and using the resources kindly donated by a local resident who was having extensive work done on his house and was able to provide us with pallets which we cut up to provide the walkers with “stepping stones” through these areas.

Around 10.00 am what turned out to be almost 90 walkers gathered at The King Charles in Springvale Road, and “carbed up” on the coffee and croissants which were supplied before being “started off” by the Mayor of Winchester, Councillor Russell Gordon-Smith and the Chair of the Hospice Trustees, Nick Vaughan (who is also a Rotarian in Southampton). After their words of encouragement and appreciation the walkers set off in groups of a dozen or so at intervals of 5 minutes. They arrived back from 1.30pm onwards when they were able to avail themselves of a special menu provided by the King Charles and learn whether they had won anything in the raffle which was drawn while they were out walking.

So far a total of around £6,500 has been raised through sponsorship, donations, entry fees and the raffle. This figure is slowly but steadily increasing and hopefully will come closer to £7,000 by the end of the month. This has led to calls for the walk to be an annual event in the Rotary calendar!

With grateful thanks to all helpers, participants and their sponsors – and also to Stronger Gym, who covered some of the costs and entered a team of walkers.

A file of photos can be viewed here.

Nick Bell

Walkers passing the final checkpoint

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