On Sunday 4th June over 400 people fastened their walking boots and took on the Clarendon Way Walk, a beautiful countryside walk between Salisbury and Winchester to raise money for Naomi House & Jacksplace, local hospices for children and young adults.
The dedication and support of the participants resulted in more than £55,000 being raised for the hospices so far. The hospices are hopeful that fundraising will continue and will reach £75,000. The fantastic support that’s been shown by the local community helps the hospices deliver expert care and support for the children, young adults and families who use the hospice services.
The annual fundraising event, organised and delivered by Naomi House & Jacksplace, has always captured the imagination of residents from Hampshire, Wiltshire and beyond. This years’ event was made possible by the generous support from local businesses, volunteers and Winchester’s Army Training Regiment.
I’ve worked for Naomi House & Jacksplace for nearly 16 years – I love my job in the Fundraising Team - seeing at first hand the wonderful challenges and activities our supporters do for us! I usually see our events from a different side – the registration process, organisation, donations, volunteering, etc, but actually being a participant of our flagship event gave me a completely different view!
My friend Bryony gifted the CWW registration for my birthday in 2022 – not the usual chocolates or wine! To be honest I was not fit, and I didn’t like to walk anywhere, so this was going to be a real challenge both physically and mentally for me.
I know some people do not train for the walk, but I am so pleased I did! We started in earnest in February, gradually increasing distance and difficulty - my top tip is to buy yourself good, properly fitted walking boots, they are worth every single penny.
We also started fundraising early, we had a joint Just Giving page and shared the link each month strategically near payday! I wrote and posted photos about the highs and lows of my training on my social media, I don’t have a mass following but everyone’s encouragement was a real boost.
The day itself was fabulous – the camaraderie, pitstops, beautiful scenery, music, photobooths, encouragement from the marshals; seeing Winchester Cathedral put a spring in my step, the atmosphere at the finish was amazing, people clapping and cheering, and the ice-cream at the finish line was just as rewarding as my medal but didn’t last as long!
Would I do the CWW again? Pre-event I would have said a big resounding ‘no way’, now I have experienced it, my answer would be most definitely ‘yes’! Actually, I think you can sign up for next year’s walk already…..
Feedback from participants has been wonderful, I would like to say a tremendous thank you to all of those that supported the event by either walking or volunteering for this event, we couldn't have done it without you! Sponsorship from the Clarendon Way Walk allows us to continue support to families across central south England whose children have incredibly complex medical needs.