The Mayor and Mayoress of Colchester were present on Saturday 10th June in East Mersea to wave off more than 200 walkers on their way round Mersea Island and via ferry around Brightlingsea. Many hours later they were at the finishing line to welcome home and congratulate every walker who completed the 13.75 or 24 mile routes.
Samaritans volunteers and members of the public from across the UK took part to raise awareness of the charity’s work. Some walked for pleasure and others raised funds through sponsorship for individual Samaritans branches.
Just days after the event it is estimated that over £8,000 has already been raised for Colchester Samaritans, with more to come once sponsorship forms are returned. This amazing sum has come from registration fees from participating walkers, additional personal sponsorships, and generous donations from businesses around Colchester.
Mayor of Colchester Cllr. Gerard Oxford said, “Colchester Samaritans is one of my chosen charities for my mayoral year, and Bev and I were very pleased to be here to support the work volunteers do. It was an absolutely wonderful day.”
The 2017 Walk was hosted by Colchester Samaritans, for the second time in the past six years.
Walk organiser Rodney Dass said, “We wanted to repeat the success of our 2011 walk event, and we matched it in every respect. The Mayor and Mayoress were unstinting in their support, and our own volunteers were just brilliant.”
Branch Director Carol Almond added, “Visiting walkers were delighted with Mersea Island and the friendly organisation and care provided. The Essex sun that shone all day was a huge bonus.
“The smooth running of every aspect of the day belied the hours of detailed planning and organisation underpinning a day that was enjoyed by all involved.
“I received so many positive comments about the location, the care for walkers, the food and the friendliness. Everyone at Colchester Samaritans is bursting with pride.”
The Walk started and finished at Ivy Farm, East Mersea, with some walkers setting off early in the morning to take specially arranged ferries over to Brightlingsea to start their circular walk around the town, returning to Mersea to complete the walk around the island.
The majority of walkers had chosen to walk the 13.75 mile distance around Mersea Island only.
Certificates were awarded to everyone who completed the walk, whether for the full 24 miles or the shorter 13.75 distance.
The evening celebrations included a catered Hog Roast and a sumptuous buffet salad bar, followed by desserts (all prepared lovingly by Colchester Samaritans volunteers). This was coupled with fantastic musical entertainment by Beatz Work, all of which was a great way to finish off the long day.
We would also like to thank all our official sponsors and supporters, without whom we could not have put on such a fantastic event. We THANK YOU all.
Are you ready for next year's walk in BATH? www.samaritans.org/walk2018