Triple chal­lenge for char­ity walk­ers

A decade of suc­cess­ful fundrais­ing cel­e­brated

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - FRONT PAGE -

MORE than 600 walk­ers from across Buck­ing­hamshire, and be­yond joined Ren­nie Grove Hospice Care on Sun­day 9 Septem­ber to cel­e­brate a decade of the Chilterns 3 Peaks Chal­lenge.

This spec­tac­u­lar walk – which is the last sec­tion of the Ridge­way Na­tional Trail – of­fered an op­por­tu­nity to walk seven, 11 or 20 miles and raise vi­tal funds for an im­por­tant lo­cal hospice char­ity. Par­tic­i­pants took ad­van­tage of the chance to get to­gether with friends, col­leagues, fam­ily, chil­dren and dogs to en­joy a day out walk­ing in the fresh air, tak­ing in the in­cred­i­ble views around this area of out­stand­ing nat­u­ral beauty.

Speak­ing at the start of the chal­lenge, Ren­nie Grove Hospice Care’s chief ex­ec­u­tive Ste­wart Marks said: “It’s great to see so many peo­ple tak­ing part in a com­mu­nity event whilst rais­ing funds for char­ity. Ren­nie Grove de­pends on the sup­port of lo­cal peo­ple and we are so grate­ful for all those who have turned out to­day. We hope every­one – and their dogs – en­joy their walk.”

It was ideal walk­ing weather with out­breaks of sun­shine and a cool breeze as par­tic­i­pants of all ages tack­led the first two peaks of White­leaf Cross and Coombe Hill, while some per­se­vered through more windy con­di­tions to make it up to the top of the fi­nal peak at Iv­inghoe Bea­con. Mul­ti­tudes of mums, dads, kids, friends, col­leagues and dogs showed their sup­port for a vi­tal lo­cal cause by tak­ing part and thor­oughly en­joyed the friendly and en­cour­ag­ing at­mos­phere of the event, which could not have taken place with­out the sup­port of lo­cal vol­un­teers and busi­nesses such as the event spon­sor, Ori­gin and trans­port providers Ar­riva Buses.

A team of 12 mem­bers from Xcel­er­ate Fit­ness in Mar­low in­clud­ing beau­ti­ful Bon­nie the dog (who was very keen to get started) were all un­der­tak­ing the 20 mile route.

Derek Baker was walk­ing in mem­ory of his late wife Gwynfa who was cared for by what was then Iain Ren­nie Hospice at Home nurses to­wards the end of 2001 and into the early part of 2002. “The nurses pro­vided a won­der­ful ser­vice to my wife,” Derek re­called and is pleased to be sup­port­ing Ren­nie Grove to­day.

For Amy and Jay­don from Great Mis­senden this was their first time at the Chilterns 3 Peaks and they were opt­ing for the 11 mile route. And while Jay­don was feel­ing “ex­cited” Amy was feel­ing “rather ner­vous!”

Ren­nie Grove’s own Fam­ily Sup­port Team were look­ing for­ward to get­ting to know each other bet­ter dur­ing the walk and had brought along part­ners, chil­dren and dogs too.

An­other team of work col­leagues set­ting out to­gether and rais­ing funds for Ren­nie Grove were from Prospect House Surgery in Great Mis­senden also ac­com­pa­nied by Ren­nie Grove Sup­port­ing Hands vol­un­teer Gita. Gita said: “I am so ex­cited to be tak­ing part and walk­ing with the team from Prospect House where my friend works.”

Align De­sign and Con­struct who are work­ing on the HS2 project in the area brought a team of 15 peo­ple to un­der­take the Chilterns 3 Peaks Chal­lenge. Jor­dana from Align’s com­mu­nity en­gage­ment team ex­plained: “We are walk­ing to­day to do some­thing for char­ity and for the lo­cal com­mu­nity”.

Upon reach­ing the seven mile mark, many took the op­por­tu­nity to re­flect in Ren­nie Grove’s Memo­rial Wood­land in Wendover. Those who were tak­ing part in mem­ory of a loved one could hang a mem­ory tag with a per­son­alised mes­sage on one of the trees as a ded­i­ca­tion to their spe­cial per­son and take a mo­ment to re­mem­ber the good times that they had shared.

At nearly 86 Clem Reed from Wendover, who was walk­ing with his wife Mary, was pleased to tackle the seven mile route for the first time. At the fin­ish line, Clem said: “I would re­ally rec­om­mend this event to oth­ers. The views were ex­cel­lent!”

Ar­riva buses bought seven mile walk­ers back to their own ve­hi­cles parked at Princes Ris­bor­ough School whilst those walk­ing on to com­plete the 11 mile route re­vived and re­fu­elled be­fore board­ing the bus to Tring sta­tion to com­plete the fi­nal four miles on foot. Those who were tak­ing on the ul­ti­mate 20 mile chal­lenge trekked on to com­plete the en­tire route from Princes Ris­bor­ough to Wendover and then con­tin­ued on, join­ing the 11-mil­ers at Tring Sta­tion be­fore the fi­nal push to the top of Iv­inghoe Bea­con.

As par­tic­i­pants reached the end of the chal­lenge at the top of Iv­inghoe Bea­con, there were smiles all round and a great sense of achieve­ment.

Ren­nie Grove shop vol­un­teer San­dra Haine to­gether with her hus­band Charles and Jerry Hall com­pleted the 20 mile route: “It was a great day out. There was a re­ally good at­mos­phere and spirit among every­one tak­ing part and it was the per­fect chance to get out in the fresh air and en­joy the coun­try­side. The whole event was re­ally well or­gan­ised and the mar­shals were all so friendly.”

Also en­joy­ing the op­por­tu­nity to be out­side and to spend time to­gether as a fam­ily were the Sawyers from Che­sham Bois and Tring who proudly com­pleted the 11 mile route.

Sue, to­gether with son James and grand­chil­dren Joe and Beth, were tak­ing part to sup­port Ren­nie Grove af­ter the nurses cared for Sue’s hus­band.

Sue said: “This is the fourth year I have taken part and it’s been lovely to do some­thing to­gether for such a good cause and take time to talk to each other.”

Shailza Leaver, mum to two of the chil­dren cared for by our Chil­dren’s Hospice at Home team, took part along­side Ren­nie Grove chil­dren’s nurse, Francesca Len­non. Shailza said: “It’s men­tally tir­ing look­ing af­ter the boys ev­ery day but to­day I’ve had the chance to push my­self phys­i­cally and it’s been re­ally good. The coun­try­side has been lovely – you re­ally don’t have to go to Scot­land for good views.” Francesca added: “A big thank you to the won­der­ful and friendly mar­shals and other vol­un­teers who have made to­day pos­si­ble.”

Re­flect­ing on the day, Ste­wart Marks said, “In the decade since its in­cep­tion, this amaz­ing walk has raised tens of thou­sands of pounds for Ren­nie Grove Hospice Care en­abling us to con­tinue to pro­vide our spe­cial­ist nurs­ing ser­vices for adults and chil­dren in Bucks and Herts who have can­cer and other life-lim­it­ing ill­ness.

“I am so im­pressed by the en­thu­si­asm and ca­ma­raderie that I have wit­nessed to­day among all the walk­ers and want to say a huge thank you to every­one who has joined us and made the day such a re­sound­ing suc­cess.”

Jay­don and Amy from Great Mis­senden

Ren­nie Grove Sup­port­ing Hands vol­un­teer Gita

Team Xcel­er­ate Fit­ness from Mar­low Team Align Ren­nie Grove’s fam­ily sup­port team

Team Xcel­er­ate at the fin­ish line

San­dra and Charles Haine with Jerry Parr

Sup­port on route

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