A long walk to freedom

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KOST - making a difference in Kenya
20 April 2015

A long walk to freedom

The first time I ever heard of the concept of a sponsored walk was at the tender age of thirteen. My secondary school was holding a fundraising day and we could do anything sponsored to raise money. I opted for the sponsored walk.

On the day, the dog and I walked the three miles to school to take part, walked eighteen times around the one mile circuit, and then walked the three miles home. I was immensely proud of my achievement, but when I went out to the cinema that night with a friend, I discovered I could barely walk. Perhaps I’d overdone it? Surely not, moi? Recovery was slow: it took three days to be able to walk in a way not suggestive of John Wayne, and I realized too late that I hadn’t in fact got any sponsors, but I had meant well…

Having children changed my view on sponsored events a little.  School/Brownie pick-up time always yielded one child or another brandishing a sponsorship form. The other parents and I would roll our collective eyes-not another round of signing each other’s forms, surely?  A call to grandma was de rigueur and the kindly next door neighbours were yet again prevailed upon-that form had to be filled in.

Even worse was the actual collecting of the money. Invariably, someone would have sponsored my child who had mysteriously disappeared in the interim; former friends would studiously avoid us; others would have continually empty purses.  Eventually, I paid most of the raised money myself; anything was easier than actually collecting it.

So why do we do it? There’s no doubt that raising sponsorship money is hard work, much harder than the sponsored event itself- a gentle five mile stroll around Fewston reservoir.  And yet, however hard it is to collect that money, however embarrassed we feel at approaching our valued friends with our hands held out, it can never be as bad as being an orphan with no home or family to turn to.  And it doesn’t have to be big bucks, as Ghandi said, ‘Generosity consists not in the sum given, but the manner in which it is bestowed’. And all those fivers actually add up: last year’s sponsored walk raised an impressive £1604.85.

This year’s sponsored walk for KOST is taking place on Monday, May Day Bank Holiday, 4th May, 2015, starting 10.30am.  I’ll be there, soaking up the rays-it’s going to be a gorgeous day of course, and I hope you’ll be there too.  What’s more, I’ve already got a sponsor or two; even more impressively, most of my friends are still speaking to me and haven’t started to avoid me….yet….

(You can find out more it by visiting our events page or sending an enquiry via the contact page.)

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