The 2016 Saffery Rotary Walk has raised a record breaking £57,526 for 18 local community projects – the most charity projects to be supported in the history of the walk.
This year a record number of participants took part in the annual around the island walk. The event, which took place in June, saw more than 650 take on the challenging 39 mile walk. Organisers introduced a relay option for participants which attracted 19 teams, boosting the walk’s numbers by over 100 participants.
The funds raised were presented to the walk’s chosen charities at a special presentation evening at Government House on Tuesday 27 September.Hosted by BBC Radio Guernsey’s Jim Cathcart, his Excellency Vice Admiral Ian Corder CB, presented cheques to Autism Guernsey, Drug Concern, Floral Guernsey Foundation, GSF Mental Health Fellowship, Guernsey Air Cadets, Guernsey Cardiac Action Group, Guernsey Contraceptive Service, Guernsey Cricket Board, Guernsey Disability Alliance/Access4All, Guernsey Group of Riding for the Disabled, Guernsey Mencap, Guernsey Sea Cadets, La Societe Guernesiaise, Liberate, St James, St John’s Residential Home, St Martin’s Primary School PTA, and The Guernsey Bereavement Service.
Simon Milsted, chairman of the Saffery Rotary Walk organising committee, acknowledged a number of individual walkers in recognition of their specific achievements.
Lance Armstrong won the award for the youngest walker to complete the route for the second year running, at 9 years old. Andrea Harris won the award for the most individual sponsorship raised, at £1,260, and Lesley’s Lovely Ladies took home the award for most monies raised by a relay team, totalling £1,036.
One of the beneficiary charities, Guernsey Disability Alliance (GDA), won the Peter Walker award for special achievement for entering a relay team including members of the charity with a range of disabilities. The 40 strong relay team chose a section of the route appropriate to their own individual abilities, including wheelchair users, and represented a number of the GDA’s member charities including Wigwam; Guernsey Deaf Children’s Society, Guernsey Down Syndrome Group, Guernsey MIND and the GSF Mental Health Fellowship, together with their supporters, including the 1st Guernsey Scouts.
Lisa Vizia, director at Saffery Champness and member of the Walk’s organising committee, presented an award on behalf of the sponsor for the best “Saffery Selfie”. Walkers were asked to take “selfies” as they completed the route and post their pictures on the Saffery Rotary Walk’s Facebook and Twitter pages. The team at Saffery Champness narrowed down the numerous posts to select Paul Sheward as the ultimate winner.
Mr Milsted said: “I am absolutely delighted with the outcome of this year’s walk. We are very pleased with the number of local causes we are able to support and with the record amount of money raised. The funding will make a real difference to these charities and I would like to thank the people who took part in the walk enabling us to make these donations.
“I would also like to thank the committee, our volunteers on the day and Saffery Champness for all their hard work ensuring that this event, now in its 19th year, continues to happen and, in turn, raises such a fantastic amount of money for so many deserving Guernsey charities.”
Local firm Saffery Champness took over the sponsorship of the around the island walk in 2014 and has committed to continue supporting the event for a further three years.
Miss Vizia said: “Supporting local community projects is central to our approach to CSR at Saffery Champness and we are delighted to continue our support of one of Guernsey’s largest annual charity fundraising events. It was great to see so many walkers take on this hard challenge this year and raise such an impressive amount of money to support 18 deserving local charities and we are proud to have been part of making the event such a success.”