Saffery Rotary Walk won the Organising Committee of the Year Award at this year’s Guernsey Community Awards.

The award, sponsored by RG Falla, recognises the organisers of an annual event, one-off project or campaign which has been particularly successful in engaging with the local community and whose participants have demonstrated great teamwork.

The Community Awards, now in their seventh year, are held to celebrate Guernsey’s voluntary and charitable sector. The presentations were made at St James on 31 October, attended by a wide range of Guernsey-based charities and businesses.

The judges specified that the Saffery Rotary Walk committee were chosen for “having had a record breaking year introducing several innovations, for being particularly successful in engaging with the community, and for having widened their remit to become more inclusive following their partnership with the Guernsey Disability Alliance (GDA).”

2017 has been an exceptional year in the history of the Saffery Rotary Walk; the event is celebrating its 20th anniversary in the island and raised a record breaking £85,430 donated to 28 local community projects, almost £30,000 more than last year’s record (£57,526 in 2016).

This year’s walk also saw a record number of walkers take on the 39 mile challenge; over 900 walkers took part, 181 people walked as members of 27 relay teams sharing the challenge of completing the walk. In addition, the GDA entered over 70 participants – its highest number ever.

GDA executive director, Karen Blanchford, who nominated the committee said: “One of the core aims of the GDA is to increase the equality of opportunity for disabled people to take part in everyday life and the Saffery Rotary Walk is an excellent example of how events can be adapted to achieve this. We are so grateful to the Saffery Rotary Walk committee for making it possible to enter a GDA team again this year and for selecting us as a beneficiary for a portion of the funds. We look forward to working together with the committee again to ensure that the walk continues to be one of the most inclusive events on the island.”

Simon Milsted, chair of the Walk’s organising committee, said: “It is a huge honour to have won this award and a privilege to be the chair of the committee in such a momentous year. From start to finish the Saffery Rotary Walk is a monumental challenge and one that takes a large number of people many hours to organise throughout the year.

“I’d like to thank all of the dedicated, motivated and inspired people which made the 20th anniversary year, and the years gone before, so successful and to Saffery Champness for their commitment to ensure that this major local event continues to take place. We will strive to keep the walk fresh with new ideas and maintain our good-governance and inclusion of the widest possible sections of our community.”

Local firm Saffery Champness, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary in the island, took over the sponsorship of the walk in 2014 and committed to support the Walk in 2016 for a further three years.

Lisa Vizia, director at Saffery Champness and member of the organising committee, said: “CSR forms a major part of our culture and business strategy and we take a very hands-on approach to our sponsorships. This award is in recognition of the tireless efforts of the committee and we are proud to have worked together with them to make a great event into a superb event.”