Around the country, our supporters hold a variety of creative fundraising projects on our behalf. The annual Berkhamsted Walk is among the most successful of these affiliated events.
The Berkhamsted Walk, to be held on Sunday, 13 May, has been held for 43 years. In that time, the sponsored walk has raised over £275,000 for The Children's Society. Last year alone, walkers generated £5000.
This money supports our work with young people, including advocacy programmes, counselling sessions and services for disabled youth.
Generations of walkers
Jenny Hackworth, Berkhamsted Committee Treasurer, explained that participants' dedication is the key to the event’s success. 'We have many regular walkers who come, sun or rain,' Hackworth said. 'Some adults who walked it as children are now bringing their children on the walk.'
Hackworth feels that the walk's pleasant nature scenes and enjoyable sense of community keep people coming back year after year.
Hackworth said: 'The countryside is so beautiful, with often the opportunity to see many bluebells in the woods. People enjoy the fact that a route has been designed for them... There is always a very friendly atmosphere amongst walkers, chatting as they go around.'
A range of routes
The impressive fundraising event is popular with local residents and visitors, and offers a chance to spend a lovely spring day in some of England's most beautiful countryside.
To accommodate all family members, three route options are offered - the fun walk (6 miles), the bluebell walk (12 miles) and the challenge walk (18 miles).
All walks go through the picturesque Chiltern Hills and the Ashridge Estate. Walkers are likely to see Berkhamsted School, the remains of Berkhamsted Castle and carpets of flowering bluebells.
The fun walk is particularly popular among families with young children. However, many walkers complete the longer routes, getting to see St Peter’s Church and the newly restored 17th century Town Hall.
As an added incentive, the individual walker and the group or family who raise the most sponsorship are awarded £100 of goods from The Berkhamsted Walk's partner, Complete Outdoors.
Improving the lives of at-risk children
While walkers thoroughly enjoy their time, they are still aware of the cause they are supporting.
Berkhamsted Committee Chairman, Ann Browning, fondly remembers a young walker's sense of purpose.
Browning said: 'When asked why he was so enthusiastic about the walk, Jonathan said "We wanted to help raise money for children who were having a hard time, maybe they don't have kind parents, or have a lot of problems at home, and feel sad. We want to help them be happy".'
Of course, this is what the walk is all about – raising funds to improve the lives of at-risk children.
Visit the Berkhamsted Walk website to learn more or register for the walk.