Clovelly to Appledore RNLI sponsored walk.
In perfect weather, the eighth RNLI Clovelly to Appledore COVID compliant Sponsored Walk took place on Saturday 19 September.
Run by the volunteers of the Appledore RNLI Fundraising Guild, the registration station was set up outside the RNLI Gift Shop in Clovelly which enabled everyone to observe social distancing, and to further help this, the start was staggered between 8am and 9am. The Clovelly Visitor Centre management were also very helpful in opening the toilets an hour early, and allowed walkers to leave via a normally locked gate.
John Wilson, the main organizer of the walks explained: “This year was more of a challenge, due to the necessary regulations arising from the coronavirus pandemic, requiring observation of the Social Distancing and ‘Rule of 6’ requirements. I am pleased to report how responsible and aware the walkers were, observing all of these rules. The weather was ideal, with some cloud cover and a light breeze. It was also clear that the National Trust had been maintaining the path steps and surface”.
Marshall / First Aider stations were set up along the route at Bucks Mills, Peppercombe, Westward Ho! and Northam Burrows. Here walkers registered their progress, and made use of the bottles of water, sweets and fruit kindly donated to the event by Morrison’s, Tesco and ASDA respectively. The First Aiders also ensured that all walkers were comfortable and uninjured. One volunteer walker acted as the ‘Sweeper’, going along the route last of all and ensuring that all walkers had passed through the checkpoints.
Unable to undertake the full walk, the 69th walker joined in At Westward Ho!; David Chalmers, Mayor of Northam, registered at the Westward Ho! Marshall station in the early afternoon, and walked the remainder of the route to RNLI Appledore Lifeboat station.
Although not a race, the first person home was Simon Jessop, in a time of Although not a race; the first walker back to Appledore was Simon Jessup in a time of 4hrs 41mins. “I was pushed along by a potential donation if I beat a five hour time for the walk” he said as he received his medal.
All walkers arrived at RNLI Appledore by 4:45pm, received their completion medals, and took light refreshment. At no time was it necessary to warn people about social distancing, or the “Rule of 6”. “We are all responsible people” said one of the walkers. “Nobody takes on a 16 mile walk without being serious about the day”. Unfortunately, due to COVID restrictions, the normal congratulatory barbeque had to be cancelled.
“Sponsorship monies are still coming in” said organiser John Wilson “but at the moment looks as if we will exceed £2,000.00.” If anyone else wishes to show support for these walkers, or to make a donation to the RNLI relating to this event, please visit the Just Giving page: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/station-to-station2020
“None of this would have been possible without the support of the RNLI at a regional and local level. RNLI South West divisional regional Community Manager, Gemma Baker, was of great assistance in helping derive a full Risk Assessment for the walk, RNLI Clovelly crew assisted with setting up and running the Registration at Clovelly, and RNLI Appledore crew helped set up the refreshment area at the finish post. Our thanks to them all.”
Key facts about the RNLI
The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.