Launch of the Orwell Walk - now in its 41st year
PUBLISHED: 11:26 25 October 2016 | UPDATED: 11:26 25 October 2016
One of the most popular and successful fundraising events in Suffolk has been officially launched.
The Orwell Walk 2017 will take place on Sunday, June 25, and will once again feature a walk, cycle ride and run over a variety of distances – all with breathtaking views of the Orwell Estuary.
Launched last night at Greshams in Tuddenham Road, supporters and fundraisers heard how the event – which has raised more than £1.5million since it was first held by the Ipswich East Rotary Club 40 years ago – was so important to Suffolk-based charities.
Rather than just one or two charities benefiting, participants can choose who they raise money for on the day – making it the county’s biggest multi-charity fundraiser.
The importance of this was stressed by Suffolk Community Foundation development director, Tim Holder.
He said a study estimated that around three quarters of charitable donations made in Suffolk to national charities would not necessarily be reinvested back into the local area.
That, he said, made the Orwell Walk a vitally important fundraiser for many local organisations.
BBC Radio Suffolk breakfast show presenter and Rotary Club member Mark Murphy, who compered the launch, explained how the Orwell Walk had gone from strength to strength – and the addition of a run last year had proved particularly popular.
After the launch he said: “We had lots and lots of different charities turning up to hear how they can use the walk to raise money.
“It is great to see how local charities have utilised this ready-made fundraising event to fund themselves.
“It can be difficult for smaller charity groups.
“For organisations like scout groups or youth football teams it is difficult to organise fundraising events of their own.
“Here they just have to pay their registration fee and can use the event for whatever they want.
“We all walk together,but we walk for different charities. “It is a brilliant event.
“It is such a beautiful part of the countryside, but is also a challenge.”
Next year, the 41st time the event will have been held, people will be able to walk or run between three and 26.2 miles, and cycle either five or 15 miles.
It once again promises fantastic views of one of the most picturesque parts of Suffolk, with some parts of the route not normally accessible to the public. It will be marshalled, with checkpoints every two or three miles – the idea is that people choose their own distance and challenge.
People can register online at www.orwellwalk.co.uk and there is a discount on registration until December 31.