Still time to join 40th Orwell Walk - taking place on Sunday, June 26
PUBLISHED: 18:20 19 June 2016 | UPDATED: 18:44 19 June 2016
With less than a week until the 40th Orwell Walk on Sunday, organisers the Ipswich East Rotary Club have received more than double last year's registration numbers.
The annual event features hundreds of people walking 12, 19, or 25-mile routes along the River Orwell, or cycling a five or 15-mile course.
This year, to mark the walk’s 40th anniversary and more than £1million raised for good causes, the Orwell Run has been introduced to bring numbers registered so far to nearly 1,000 across the three disciplines.
“It’s going brilliantly,” said Mark Murphy, BBC Radio Suffolk presenter and Rotarian.
“The walk numbers are really strong and so many people have embraced the fact that they can now run it – that’s clearly going to be a growth area in the future.”
Organisers are now hoping to get as many last sign-ups this week.
“People don’t necessarily have to walk or run for a charity – simply by paying their registration fee and taking part they are helping rotary charities, so sign up and come and join us,” Mr Murphy added.
“There are so many different people from so many different charities, it is wonderful.”
For many charities and community organisations the event represents a key fundraising opportunity.
Lighthouse Women’s Aid in Ipswich has a group of 20 volunteers and trainees aiming to raise more than £2,000, which will help celebrate the charity’s 40th anniversary and continue funding support for increasing numbers of women who are coming forward as victims of domestic abuse.
“We are seeing an increase of cases coming through – there are over 9,000 in Suffolk in 2014/15,” said Laura Squirrell, community fundraising co-ordinator.
“Fundraising with the walk will help support our work empowering women, and providing a place for people to stay, as well as preventative measures.”
For other organisations, the day is as much about raising awareness for their causes as raising vital funds.
Bev Sillett, shop manager of the Ipswich Children’s Society, said: “Getting the word about and anyone that walks can have a chat with us is really important.
“We are very excited about doing it – it is something outside the shop and helps with team building too.”
To sign up for the walk and help support rotary charities and other causes, visit www.orwellwalk.co.uk.