Our unexpectedly golden walk offered sustenance and challenges in equal measure

On Saturday 18th May a group of Reach supporters came together to undertake our 30km walk in Derbyshire. Our goal was to encourage generous sponsors at £10 per person to give towards our refurbishment of 85a Allerton Road.

We departed Liverpool in the early hours and our trek began ‘over hill and over dale’ at 9am sharp. Our first stop after several miles walk was at the beautiful Garden Tea Rooms in Over Haddon where we were once again given a lovely welcome by the owners. An amazing array of delicious home baked cakes awaited us along with refreshing teas and coffee to revive us.

We then walked through Bakewell and Edensor to lunch in the grounds of the majestic Chatsworth House which glistened with gold following its own £32m refurbishment (slightly more expensive than ours). We avoided being run into by new lambs and 4x4s attending a huge clay pigeon shooting competition!

In the afternoon we continued through Baslow and Calver, passing ‘Colditz’ where the famous TV series was filmed, and then onto a rare hexagonal church in Stoney Middleton. Just before 6pm at the end of the exhilarating 30km walk we were warmly greeted at the historic Eyam Parish Church by Venerable Bob (an ex-archdeacon) before enjoying dinner at The Miners Arms. We then departed for home glad and glowing after a very long and stimulating day.

To show commitment to the cause Emily, one of our party and a counsellor at Reach, returned sporting 15 blisters! Her personal story follows here called ‘These boots are made for walking’:

‘On the 18th May I had the privilege of walking 17 miles to raise money for Reach! I’d never done anything like this before so I was up for the challenge. Armed with my walking boots and lots of food, off we went to Derbyshire. It was a day of magnificent scenery, sharing the fields with lambs, a cheeky cake stop (bonus) and walking like we’ve never walked before.

The first 13 miles went by very quickly and were very fun. It was the 14th mile that my feet were on fire with pain and all I wanted was a cup of tea (thanks Andy!) – as we know a cup of tea solves everything – and I plodded on, more determined than before to finish and make my sponsors proud.

Those last 4 miles I learnt it’s not about doing the journey alone in your pain (every step I took) but it’s about who you walk the path with, that sees you to the end!! My team and sponsors were encouraging me, believing in me and walking with me every step of the way, that’s what stopped me from grabbing the support car to the end and pressing on to achieve something I never thought I’d do, walk 17 miles … These boots were made for walking but it’s who you walk with that counts!’

We gratefully thank all of those who have already donated £5,160 towards our walk and ‘One in a Thousand’ appeal. We are half way towards our target! If you would like to donate further to help us achieve our £10,000 refurbishment target, please click on the following link to our website donate page. Thank you!