Two hundred and fifty people were walking on sunshine at yesterday’s (June 24) KM Charity Walk and raised £15,000 for good causes.
The horde of happy hikers supported 19 charities including the dementia appeal of the East Kent Hospitals Charity, Emmaus Dover, Kent MS Therapy Centre, Oliver Fisher Special Care Baby Trust, and Heart of Kent Hospice.
The event, now in its 23rd year, attracted groups of friends, families, ramblers, and work colleagues from across the county. Grade II listed Georgian mansion Mote House in Maidstone provided the start and end point for both routes – the main 10-mile route and the family-friendly five-mile option.
Children completed a scavenger hunt organised by the Kent Wildlife Trust and on completion of the walk headed to the Trust’s stall to make nature art from the items gathered.
Participants ranged from six-month old Killian Ambrose, whose family took part in the event just for fun, to 81 year-old Chris Cook – who was part of a group raising sponsorship for the Go Ability Trust in Canterbury.
Sue Bell from Maidstone was the highest individual fundraiser on the day with £1,251 going to Macmillan Cancer Support; and Laura Stephens and team, from Tonbridge, were the most successful group – raising £2,010 for Kent Air Ambulance.
At the finish line walkers received souvenir medals, as well as goody bags from The Woodstove Trading Company, water and bananas donated by Wellbeing People, and free massages from Headcorn Natural Health Centre.
A summer fayre in the mansion’s grounds boasted a barbecue cooked by the head chef at Mote House, live music from Kent band the Acoustic Tones, and refreshment stalls including Priscilla the Pimms Pod supplied by Typically English Events.
It was a good day for charities with Simply Ice Cream donating all profits from ice creams sold at the event to Porchlight and the Pilgrims Hospice, and Berry Gardens selling punnets of strawberries to support children’s cancer charity My Shining Star.
Organiser Sophie Wallace of the KM Charity Team thanked all event partners, which also included Glosrose Engineering, Mote House Audley, Jarmans Solicitors, and the Maidstone Ramblers.
She said: “We were so pleased to see walkers of all ages enjoying the beautiful sunshine and countryside and supporting their favourite charities. The KM Charity Walk is a real community event thanks to local businesses helping us to encourage healthy exercise and helping others.”
Sophie added: “I’d especially like to thank Del Cook and his team from the Maidstone Ramblers who go above and beyond to help us put on this event – from the initial planning to clearing the pathways, putting up signs and stewarding – they are simply amazing.”
Organisations interested in finding out about sponsorship packages for the 2019 walk should contact Sophie at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 0844 264 0291.
Other events run by the KM Charity Team now open for booking include the KM Dragon Boat Race on Sunday, July 1; Zombie Charge on Sunday, October 28; and the Maidstone heat of the KM Big Charity Quiz on Friday, November 9. Visit www.KmCharityTeam.co.uk/Booking and use the discount code KMNEWS18.