Bright and Breezy

You don’t get much more ‘bright and breezy’ than striding across the top of Dunstable Downs in a vibrant yellow t-shirt.

This weekend, I joined 40 enthusiastic people, for an 18 mile walk along the Ridgeway. Starting in Dunstable, we made our way back to Wendover one step at a time. The purpose of this walk was to raise awareness and funds for The PACE Centre.

The PACE Centre
The PACE Centre provides specialist education and therapy for children with motor disorders. It gives these amazing children the opportunity to realise their potential. With two sites in Aylesbury, along with outreach services, the charity supports the care and development of children and young people, from birth through to 18 years old.

The PACE Centre provides primary and secondary education from KS1 through to KS4 and standards are high. In its most recent Ofsted inspection, the school was graded outstanding. Talk about setting high standards!

In order to continue its services, the charity takes a very proactive approach to fundraising events. The BIG Walk is just one of a number of ways in which the local community and businesses can get involved. If running a marathon or cycling isn’t your thing, would you be tempted by a Brewery Tour, a Quiz Night or Open Gardens?

Why I Support The PACE Centre
If a child’s needs can’t be met by mainstream education and clubs, there needs to be alternatives. Parents and children have to have access to high quality care and specialist support. It’s fortunate that a dedicated team have ensured that local parents have this option on their doorstep.

Rather than funds disappearing into a pot, I’ve seen that even small donations to The PACE Centre have been used to purchase equipment. The charity has previously sent letters, and even a video, to show how my support has really made a difference to their pupils.

Benefits of Walking
I find walking is a fantastic form of relaxation. It offers time to clear my mind and allows creativity to flow. If I’m stuck on a blog writing idea, getting out for a walk often proves far more effective than staring at a screen in the hope that inspiration will strike.

Walking gets you out in the fresh air and boosts your fitness. It is easy to incorporate into your daily routine and whilst a brisk pace is most beneficial, you can easily vary your speed. It cost nothing to go on a walk and you spot so many things that simply go unnoticed when you drive by in a car.

Get Involved
There’s more to getting invovled than simply walking. Local business supported the event in other ways. Aylesbury’s Motts Coaches donated vehicles and drivers to transport walkers to three different starting points through the day. Staff from Aylesbury’s Metro Bank provided drinks, snacks and encouragement at points along the route. Volunteers from the Rambling Association were walk guides, whilst other people gave up their time to marshal at road junctions.

Such events offer so much more than a tick in the CSR box. If you ever want to restore your faith in human nature, get involved; you’ll have the chance to meet, and chat with, so many inspirational people.

This is the third BIG Walk that I’ve taken part in. Each has been extremely well organised and it is a friendly and positive event. After months of snow and rain, it was a delight to enjoy sunshine and clear skies. The conditions also meant we were rewarded with stunning views of the Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire countryside.

If it sounds appealing to you, follow The PACE Centre’s Facebook page. You’ll get details of The BIG Walk 2019 when they are released.