Walkers prepare for Orwell challenge

PUT your fundraising foot forward this summer and help good causes that are close to your heart.The 29th Orwell Walk is gearing up for what is hoped will be another record-breaking year for charities.

PUT your fundraising foot forward this summer and help good causes that are close to your heart.

The 29th Orwell Walk is gearing up for what is hoped will be another record-breaking year for charities.

Last year, around 1,200 walkers raised more than ��76,000 - smashing the previous milestone and setting sights high for 2005.

Money was also raised through the walk by supporters of the Evening Star Press Ball fund, which raises tens of thousands of pounds each year for Suffolk charity Disability Care Enterprise.

Although tables for the lavish ball, on June 24, are all now full, the walk is a fantastic way to raise money to help people with disabilities across the county.

The charity buys equipment for disabled people to help improve their quality of life.

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The Rotary Club of Ipswich East, which organises the event, hopes for an even bigger turn-out in June as they will not be competing with major sporting events such as the World Cup or European Championships this year.

Martin Westlake, of the club, said he wanted the theme to be about charities closer to home after an outpouring of emotion over the tragic events of the Boxing Day tsunami.

He said: "Around Christmas a lot of people donated a lot of money to shores outside Great Britain. What we would like to do this year is to focus on charities nearer to home.

"The option is there for people to raise money for causes that are close to their hearts. It is also just a lovely walk.

"We always want to go one better than the year before."

People can make a difference by raising money for a charity of their choice and it is an opportunity to get some exercise and a taste of Suffolk's beautiful countryside.

Walkers can participate by themselves or organise a group to take part.

The walk is taking place on Sunday, June 26, and will begin and finish at the Gainsborough Sports Centre in Maryon Road, Ipswich.

Participants can choose to take part in either the 25, 18 or 11-mile routes, all of which will take walkers along the picturesque banks of the River Orwell.

For the first time, this year there will be a prize for the most notable achievement by a person aged under 18.

This could include the furthest distance travelled by a person with disabilities or a toddler who raises the most money.

The award will be presented by the Ipswich Building Society, which is one of the sponsors.

The registration fee is £2.50 per adult (£5 on the day) and £1.50 (£2.50 on the day, which covers administration costs, drink and sponsor cards.)

For more details and registration forms, go to www.orwellwalk.org.uk or contact Norman Haines on 01473 215333 or e-mail norman@eshalum.co.uk.

You can also call Martin Westlake on 01473 403854 for further details.

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