The Embridge Mark Aaron Walking Squad set out in high spirits on the morning of 18th May to raise awareness and lots of dosh for the 20-20 Voice cancer charity, in memory of the late Mark Aaron who lost his life to throat cancer last year.
The sun was shining, the mood was optimistic and of course, we even had the T-shirts!
9 intrepid walkers set out at 9.30am from the Embridge Headquarters in Northfleet and headed south towards our final destination, Chipstead Kent, a mere 16.3 miles away. A few leisurely hours, 6 tops and plenty of pub pit stops along the way guaranteed a fab day ahead and all in the name of charity. Hoorah for us!
Chirpy and enthusiastic we rattled our collection tins at sheep, tractors, horses, builders, geese and random strangers and enjoyed some small successes as we traversed the rolling countryside and open fields of deepest darkest Kent.
We laughed and exchanged stories to pass the time and revelled in the good feel factor that we were doing something really worthwhile…. until it slowly dawned on us that we were seriously behind schedule. Feeling hot, tired and sweaty, the panic soon became apparent.
With a false start that cost us an hour and a few wrong turns under our belt, it was already 2.30pm and we still had another 8 miles to go! We picked up the pace, chivvied each other up and got serious. It wasn’t long before we forgot about the scenery, stopped talking and some of us began to hit that hideously relentless ‘wall’.
Pain killers where shared out, encouragement became fruitless and most of us were regretting ever signing up to this madness!
The last 3 miles were the hardest, and as it turns out completely pointless! Our magical mystery detours had added another extra 3 miles to our overall journey, which meant rather than the 16.3 miles, we actually walked almost 20!
We (all 9 of us) rounded the final painful corner exhausted and emotional, but ultimately elated to a cheering crowd waiting at the Bricklayers Arms, Chipstead at 7.00pm. There were hugs, congratulations and cold beers to greet us and the pain was soon forgotten and replaced with chatter and guffawing as we exchanged tales with our fellow Chaucer walkers team who had also completed an 18 mile walk that day, plus a whopping 24 the day before!
The donations had been rolling in all day from our generous audience that we had kept entertained live on social media throughout the day and as the totals were added up, there was a rumble that we may have smashed our £2k target.
The presentation revealed that in total, the Embridge team had walked their way to a huge £2,500 and all thanks to you lovely people and your amazing generosity.
Add this to the Chaucer Insurance team who raised a gigantic £22,500, this means that 20-20 Voice Cancer can now purchase 2 “Flexi-Video-RhinoLaryngoscopes – state of the art camera technology that can detect the early onset of ENT (ear, nose and throat) cancer.
Our determined walkers, your generosity and a whole heap of support has raised awareness and much needed cash for this tiny charity; and while Mark may have lost his life way to early to this heinous disease, his memory will live on and on in those that will be supported and saved by the continued and amazing work of 20-20 Voice Cancer.
It’s not too late to sponsor our weary walkers who still bear the scars of blisters, lost toenails and sunburn. Click on the link below and give what you can.