This year’s Saffery Rotary Walk celebrated its 20th year with a record breaking £85,430 donated to 28 local community projects, almost £30,000 more than last year’s record (£57,526 in 2016).

Simon Milsted, chair of the walk’s organising committee said last evening, “We wanted this to be a ‘special year’ and it has certainly turned out to be exactly that!”

The walk, an initiative promoted by both Rotary Clubs on the Island, took place on 3 June, also broke the records for the number of people taking part which was up by some 250 as well as the widest possible inclusion of walkers from throughout the Guernsey community.

More than 900 people took part in the around the island challenge, including 27 relay teams.

The funds raised were presented to the walk’s chosen charities at a special presentation evening at Government House last night (Wednesday 20 September).

Hosted by Island FM’s, Richard Harding, his Excellency Vice Admiral Sir Ian Corder CB, presented cheques to the 28 local charities. Simon Milsted acknowledged a number of individual walkers in recognition of their specific achievements.

10 year old Lance Armstrong won the award for the youngest walker to complete the route for the third year running and Clive Simon, at 71 years old, was presented with the veteran walker award. Henry Henke won an award for the most individual sponsorship raised and the Royal Court team took home the award for most money raised by a relay team.

The Peter Walker award for Special Achievement, named in memory of the late Lt Governor Air Marshal Peter Walker, who was a great supporter of the Saffery Rotary Walk, was awarded to Ruth Mahy who has now completed the walk 18 times. Ruth told the committee she hopes to complete 20 walks before she considers retiring.

Rachel Parrott, marketing manager at Saffery Champness and a 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 Charles Bryon Vorster as the ultimate winner.

During the evening the date for next year’s Saffery Rotary Walk was announced as Saturday 9 June 2018.

Over the walk’s 20 years it has seen 6,600 participants take part, 4,500 of those completed the 39 miles and more than £680,000 has been raised for local causes.

Mr Milsted said: “I could not be more pleased with the outcome of the 20th Saffery Rotary Walk. It has been an honour and a privilege to be the chair of the committee in such a momentous year. To be able to present 28 local charitable causes with a share of £85,430 will make such a difference to so many people.

“The Walk requires careful management at all times and a huge amount of work goes on behind the scenes to ensure the event runs smoothly for all walkers, volunteers, spectators and the sponsors. I’d like to thank the army of dedicated, motivated and inspired people who ensured that the 20th anniversary year has been so successful and of course to Saffery Champness for their unprecedented commitment to ensure that this major event in islander’s calendars continues to take place.”

Local firm Saffery Champness took over the sponsorship of the around the island walk in 2014 and committed to support the event in 2016 for a further three years.

Lisa Vizia, a director at Saffery Champness and member of the organising committee, said: “Supporting local community projects is central to our approach to CSR at Saffery Champness and we are proud to be the sponsor of one of Guernsey’s largest annual charity fundraising events. It was great to see so many walkers taking on the challenge this year and in so doing raise such an outstanding amount of money which has gone to 28 local charities.”