What an amazing experience! Do please consider how you could support HCCN and the Whales Foundation next year.We are working in partnership with The Malcolm Whales Foundation and are looking to support their annual walk in Dorset next year. We are looking for supporters to help us with this & to help you decide if this opportunity is for you, one of our supporters has written this about their experience:
I first met Damien Whales at Huntingdon rugby club where he and my son were both players I also knew Malcolm Whales as we were both parent/supporters of the Team. Following Malcolm's death, Damien set up the Malcolm Whales Foundation (MWF) to raise funds to help the fight against cancer. As a money raiser he had the idea of taking a group of schoolchildren on a charity walk along part of the Dorset Jurassic Coastal Path and floated this amongst several of his PE teacher friends. The walk was a success and has gone from strength to strength over the last ten years. I got involved through my son, who has done eight of the walks with students from the school he teaches at, and is now a Trustee of the charity.
I first attended the walk five years ago where I drove a van filled with equipment to the campsite and then drove a minibus doing pick-ups and drop-offs of staff and the collection of any of the walkers who had been injured or were struggling for some reason. To see a line of walkers stretching back as far as the eye could see along the steeply undulating Dorset coastline was something spectacular - especially as they all wore the same colour T-Shirts with the Charity logo on them. The enthusiasm and determination all of these young teenagers to finish the whole walk was quite amazing and made me feel very proud of the effort they had put in - especially over the last 100 yards on the final day when it became a mad dash down Studland Beach to cross the finishing line marked in the sand. It was surprising that they still had the energy to run like that!
I was diagnosed with Bowel Cancer in September 2017 and had surgery in the November followed by six months of chemotherapy from January 2018. The support in the form of best wishes and enquiries about my progress from all of the supporters of the MWF was one of the things that kept me going and made me determined to attend the 2018 walk in some capacity or other. However, the side effects of chemo had other ideas and I spent the Walk weekend in Hinchingbrooke hospital Critical Care Unit with serious problems with both kidneys! This made me more determined than ever to attend the 2019 Walk and I have already booked a Lodge at the Burnbake campsite for the weekend. My wife and I are prepared to do whatever tasks are asked of us to make the weekend a success and we will probably be joined by my daughter and one of her sons who hope to do some of the Walk as well as helping out.
You asked what I get out of it and, to sum it up in a single word, I would say PRIDE. I am so proud of all of the adults who freely give their time to organise, support and undertake the Walk. I am proud of previous students who come back as young adults to do the Walk and raise more money for the charity. Finally, I am proud of the hundreds of students who take part in a very strenuous three days of walking. They attack it with great cheerfulness and determination and they all have an intense look of pride I their achievement when they have finished.
For anyone who is considering going, there are plenty of holiday cottages, B&B's, hotels etc in the Corfe Castle, Swanage and Studland area or if you are a camping or caravanning enthusiast there is a lot of space on the Burnbake camp site. The Burnbake campsite also has some Lodges on site which can be booked for the weekend (obviously depending on availability). Remember to mention you are supporting the walk and you may get a discount on fees. ...