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Half of charities benefit despite walk cancellation

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NEARLY half of the charities chosen as beneficiaries of the 2020 Saffery Rotary Walk have still received funds despite its cancellation due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Saffery Rotary Walk was cancelled due to Covid-19, but nearly half of the 22 charities which were due to benefit have received something. A presentation ceremony was held at Government House with, left to right, Lt-Governor Vice Admiral Sir Ian Corder, James Stewart, organising committee chairman Simon Milsted, Saffery Champness director Lisa Vizia and Peter Niven, representing Abta, which pledged £12,000. (Picture by Chris George Photography)

The funds have come from the generosity of registered walkers who have offered to leave their entry fee with the walk’s committee, corporate sponsors which have honoured their commitments, and additional donations.

In particular, travel organisation Abta – The Travel Association pledged £12,000.

Peter Niven, a representative of Abta’s Guernsey link, said: ‘With the walk understandably cancelled in 2020, we felt it would be important to make a one-off donation to support the various charities in Guernsey who had been due to benefit.

‘The walk is a fantastic event and often draws people from outside the island, illustrating so well the strong links between Guernsey and the UK.’

In total, £17,500 was given to 10 charities at a presentation evening at Government House.

The remaining 12 have been added to the list to receive funding from the renamed 20-21 Saffery Rotary Walk, due to take place on Saturday 5 June 2021.

Organising committee chairman Simon Milsted said: ‘This year has undoubtedly had a profound impact on many local charities who have missed out on funding usually raised by community events.

‘While the walk was unfortunately one of those events which fell victim to the pandemic, we are extremely lucky and have been overwhelmed by the generosity of registered walkers, sponsors and Abta. As a result, 10 of the 22 charities have been able to receive funding ahead of next year’s event.

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‘In addition to walkers and donors, as ever, a huge thank you goes out to our event sponsor, Saffery Champness, who have stood by us this year and met all our cancellation and preparatory costs so all money received from donors is available for charitable purposes.’

The presentation evening also recognised the efforts of the Lt-Governor, Vice Admiral Sir Ian Corder, the walk’s patron, and three Lt-Governor’s Cadets, Jacob Brady, Emily Snell and Jack Vaudin, who walked the route together immediately after lockdown was lifted.

Sir Ian said: ‘Yet again we see in the Saffery Rotary Walk the immense power of our island community working together in mutual support at a time of crisis and disappointment.

‘I was very pleased to be asked to undertake the walk as a symbolic gesture of all that was going on behind the scenes in response to the cancellation of the full walk and to pay tribute to those whose efforts and support have had to be put on hold due to the coronavirus.’

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Lisa Vizia, director at Saffery Champness and a member of the organising committee, said: ‘His Excellency’s gesture to complete the walk accompanied by three cadets was a fantastic way to keep the walk alive.

‘We also had several individuals and small groups who took it upon themselves to walk the 39-mile route this summer, letting us know of their efforts via social media, demonstrating the brilliant community spirit that the walk fosters each year.

‘We would like to thank all those whose generosity has meant that 10 of the charities have been able to collect funding this year. We are very excited for the 2021 Walk and plan to make it extra special for all those who have missed out this year.’

The charities which benefited

. Edible Guernsey

. Guernsey Sports Commission

. Guernsey Senior Citizens Association

. Guernsey Bereavement Service

. Guernsey Victim Support and Witness Service

. Headway Guernsey

. Home-Start Guernsey

. In-Dependence

. The Set Sail Trust

. The Boys’ Brigade Guernsey Battalion.  

Nick Mann

By Nick Mann
author

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