Rotary Club Of Preston South members walked over 2,000 miles during two weeks in October to raise £7,800 for St Catherine’s Hospice.Advertisement
The members, aged from mid-fifties to over eighties, originally set out to walk 1,750 miles – the distance from Preston to the Algarve, a popular holiday destination for the team – but ended up completing 2,088 miles.
Vice President of the club, Howard Moorby, said: “As the country went into lockdown in March, we had to consider alternative, innovative ways to continue to achieve Rotary’s mission, and to continue fundraising in a safe way.
“We had Zoom meetings which allowed us to maintain the Rotary spirit and camaraderie, although it soon became clear that the ‘glue’ that encourages Rotary friendship – being able to work as a team for the benefit of the community – was missing. Past President Norman Yates suggested we do a sponsored walk and so the challenge was set for us.
“The take-up and enthusiasm was phenomenal, and really raised morale. 28 members took part and walks ranged from daily strolls around the block – Sir Tom style – to ascending walks in the Lakeland hills, interspersed with an array of coastal walks, country lanes and bridal paths.
“People found the challenge more difficult than anticipated, both physically and mentally, but also very rewarding. There was a lot of banter and encouragement through social media, and each day we were humbled and overwhelmed by the generous support and well wishes posted on our JustGiving page, which without doubt spurred us all on.”
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Community Engagement Officer at the Lostock Hall-based hospice, Norman Cutler, said: “The Rotary Club Of Preston South has a longstanding involvement with St Catherine’s going back many years.
“The sponsored walk was a brilliant idea and I’m delighted that members embraced it and enjoyed it so much. The pandemic has hit everyone hard, but it’s also encouraged us all to think a bit differently and more creatively to ensure we stay connected with one another, and to come together in new ways to help those in need.
“We’re so grateful for the funding and awareness this challenge has helped to raise for St Catherine’s at this time. This fantastic donation will really make a significant difference as we work hard to continue caring for local people affected by life-shortening illnesses.”
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What do you think of the club members’ efforts? Let us know in the comments.