Not one, but TWO Future Pillars Walks – 1 June 2019
“You’ll never walk alone”. How true that was on 1 June 2019. When we announced our second Future Pillars Walk we could not have known that this would turn out to be not one but two walks… possibly the first event of its kind. Not only did 66 walkers walk between 3 and 29 miles of the Purbeck round in the UK, but at the same time 500 children and supporters undertook their own walk around Kabwe.
It was a beautiful sunny day for the UK walkers. The views were superb and inspired many entries for a photographic competition; the winning pictures are shown here. The organisation and support were phenomenal; thank you to the walk committee and supporters from Wimborne and Christchurch Methodist Circuit for fielding caterers and administrators.
We met at 6.45am at Swanage Methodist Church where Peter McAughey, our treasurer and walk leader, told us that about 500 children from Kabwe were gathering at that very moment to start their own walk around their town. Two children stood either side of Peter to represent our two towns, and we were invited to imagine that between us we could bridge the gap between Kabwe and Swanage by walking the 8000 kilometres which divide us.
We set off at a brisk pace at 7.30am, heading along the cliffs to Old Harry Rock, and then Studland, with well-timed water and flapjack stops along the route. After 11 miles it was time for a hearty ploughman’s lunch in Corfe village hall (thank you) and then up Knowle hill, with a photo stop at Grange Arch. The route continued through beautiful Dorset countryside and villages before a final stretch along the South West Coast path towards Durlston Head. As we came down into Swanage, some of the walkers who had finished were there to clap us, while others provided live coverage of the football, which had started before we could finish! We walked together back to Swanage Methodist Church, where more well-wishers were gathered to clap us in and take the survivors’ photo …. before offering us refreshments.
Meanwhile, over in Kabwe history was being made by what we think was the town’s first ever sponsored walk. Trustee Barry was there to witness the spectacle and send back pictures of children and supporters – including the MP – led by a brass band and majorettes on a march around the town with collecting buckets, banner and T-shirts. A rather more direct approach than our sponsorship forms, collecting at traffic lights and in shops, but it worked!
Thank you to everyone who walked, organised, catered, encouraged and sponsored. The UK walk has raised almost £13000, while the Kabwe walk raised £1200! Between 66 walkers in the UK and 500 in Kabwe, we covered 11,000 kilometres, far more than the 8,000 kilometres that divide us. We are divided by much more than distance of course – by health, by wealth, by opportunities – but we are true partners and united in our desire to help the orphans and vulnerable children of Kabwe.
£22,000 raised from the First Future Pillars Walk!
Peter could not have foreseen quite how much he had taken on, or what the event would achieve! Between January and July he and a small group of friends practised the route, planned the stops and recruited volunteers to provide and serve water and refreshments along the way.
By the time the day came we had 79 walkers, aged 5 – 74, signed up to walk all or part of the 30 mile Saints’ Way, from Padstow to Fowey in Cornwall – and a new target of £10,000. We gathered at 7am in Padstow, where FPZ Chair Rosemary thanked us all for coming, spoke a little about FPZ, and handed out messages and photos from the children in Kabwe.
Lunch was after 15 miles, at Lanivet Methodist church. Some stopped at this point, while others joined us for the second half of the walk. Afternoon tea was at Luxulyan, where we were glad of the cool of the parish church to sit and rest – and delicious cakes baked by some of the walkers. The walk ended at the Parish Church in Fowey , where we enjoyed tasty pasties, made by Fiona McAughey. It was 9pm by the time the last walkers arrived…but there was still enough energy for a survivors’ photo!
By the end of the day we could see that the £10,000 target would be passed; we were tracking donations on BTmydonate and could see the total rising as we walked. We thought we might reach £15,000…. but were overwhelmed to achieve a final total of just over £22,000! Some of this has already been put to good use paying for the completion of a new two classroom block in Kabwe.
What a fantastic result! Thank you to all who took part, all who helped organise and cater, and to all who sponsored us.