Mayfair Office members Guy Leonard & Company have just enjoyed the most exhilarating and satisfying weekend supporting Horsham 100 – a fundraising campaign in aid of The Vera Lynn Trust at Billingshurst. The Dame Vera Lynn Trust provides a specialist service for the families of young children with cerebral palsy and other disabilities and is based at Ingfield Manor School at Billingshurst. Parents and children learn daily living skills in the most wonderful setting. These services are provided completely free of charge yet the Trust does not receive any statutory funding so relies entirely on community support which is where Horsham 100 comes in.
One of the ways in which Horsham 100 planned to raise money was to organise a 100 kilometre walk along the South Downs Way. Guy Leonard & Company decided to get involved with this but rather than one individual walking the whole distance they chose to do it in relay. However their mascot, a very handsome teddy bear, did walk the whole way!
The walk commenced in Arundel at 8.00am on Saturday 17th September. Karen Loy, Nick Champness and Kate Batchelor from the Horsham Office set off with Teddy to walk the first 10 miles to Springhead Hill near Amberley. Despite an early shower of rain and some muddy terrain they completed this in four hours and were met at the top of Springhead Hill by Philip Reynolds and Michelle Betts from the Storrington Office. The event was run by a company called Discover Adventure who were brilliant and provided frequent check points in case of problems; they also provided snacks and drinks for the weary walkers. Philip and Michelle covered 9 miles of the walk ending at Botolphs near Steyning. Again they did this in good time taking just three hours and were met by Cathy Moore and Angie Blunden who then took up the baton (or should we say the Teddy!) to walk the six miles to Devil’s Dyke. By this time the weather was better and after a long climb to the top of the hill Cathy and Angie had an amazing 360 degree view across Sussex. They reached Devil’s Dyke in under two hours at which point the biggest challenge began.
Neil Moore, MD of Guy Leonard & Co, Ian Gough from Horsham Office and Clive Blunden set off at 6.00pm to walk for 23 miles throughout the night. At this stage the organisers insisted upon people walking as a group and Neil, Ian & Clive were lucky enough to walk with five amazing chaps who had already covered 25 miles and were planning to complete the whole distance to Beachy Head. Despite a long and heavy bout of rain, one slight directional mishap which added two miles to their walk, blisters and achy legs the eight men and a guide from Discover Adventure walked throughout the night arriving at Alfriston at 4.00am on Sunday morning.
At this point Teddy was handed to Andrew Gardner, director of associate company Amberley House Cottage Holidays, and his partner Susie. Neil, Ian and Clive headed home to bed which Andrew, Susie and Teddy completed the final 12 miles to Beachy Head, accompanied by the five, by this time very weary, men who had walked through the night. All at Guy Leonard & Company cannot begin to say how impressed they all were with their stamina and sheer determination to finish the walk.
Although the motive for doing this walk was to raise money for The Dame Very Lynn Trust it was the most enjoyable experience and they are all very keen to do a similar event next year. The aim was to raise £3000.00. They are very nearly at this target and hope that donations will continue to come in over the next couple of weeks by which time they should exceed their goal.
If you would like to donate it is very easy to do so. The easiest way is to donate online by visiting their Just Giving page at www.justgiving.com/guyleonard100. If you would like further details please contact Cathy Moore at Guy Leonard & Company on 01903 744166.