As the dust settles organisers announce that 2017 has been a truly record breaking year in the history of the Saffery Rotary Walk; in terms of funds raised, charities supported, numbers of walkers registered and the widest possible inclusion of walkers from throughout the Guernsey community.
Over 900 walkers took part and from this organisers anticipate a record amount of sponsorship being raised enabling over £75,000 being donated to this year’s 28 approved charity projects.
Even though a considerable amount of money has already been collected, organisers are still expecting more to come and are asking walkers to finish collecting their sponsorship money.
Service manager at Headway Guernsey, Orla-Marie Manning, said: “We are so grateful to have been chosen to receive funds and would like to pass on our thanks to everyone who took part; your money makes a real difference.”
Of the 908 participants who started the walk on the day, 650 took on the full 39 miles and 541 of these managed to complete the distance.
Sponsorship has been further enhanced by growth in relay team entries. 181 people walked as members of 27 teams sharing the challenge of completing the walk.
In addition, the Guernsey Disability Alliance (GDA) entered over 70 participants – its highest number ever. This included individuals with a range of disabilities from member charities (Access for All, Guernsey Deaf Children’s Society, Guernsey Down Syndrome Group, Guernsey MIND and the GSF Mental Health Fellowship), supporters and the 1st Guernsey Scouts.
GDA executive director, Karen Blanchford, said: “We are so grateful to the Saffery Rotary Walk committee for making it possible to enter a GDA team again this year. Our aim is to make sure disabled islanders have access to the same opportunities as everyone else and all of the participants thoroughly enjoyed the experience.”
The Saffery Rotary Walk is one of the island’s largest fundraising events and has supported a number of charitable causes since its inception in 1998.
The 39 mile around the island has raised a total of nearly £600,000 over the past 20 years. Last year’s walk raised £57,526 for 18 local charities and organisations.
“The committee and I are overwhelmed by the amount of people who participated in this year’s walk. The generosity and community spirit of islanders is a credit to Guernsey and a fitting way to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Walk,” said Simon Milsted, chair of the Saffery Rotary Walk’s organising committee.
“We are confident that, once we have received all of the sponsorship money, the walk will have raised enough to cover the sums requested by our 28 chosen charities,” he said.
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. It was a privilege to be able to celebrate Saffery Champness’ 40th anniversary in the island alongside the walk’s 20th. Seeing so many people take on this incredibly difficult challenge is something I feel very proud of and we are privileged to be part of such a successful event.”