Welcome to the Oxfam Community Winter Challenge!

  • Keep your spirits up these winter months and join an online community of friends
  • Get motivated to take exercise in these wintry months Feb – March – April
  • The distance you go here at home is converted to a virtual walk which we all do together
  • Not just walking, cycling etc, but gardening, dance, yoga and Pilates count too!
  • An eventful trek across Africa, then to India and to Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh
  • That makes 20,000 km to do in 3 months but with plenty of people we will manage it
  • Post your photos, hear from fellow walkers in the special Facebook group
  • Get started – buy your ticket by pressing the green “Sign up” button at https://zentoevent.com/the-oxfam-community-winter-challenge/
  • Support the walkers with donations on Justgiving: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Oxfam-St-Albans

 

The objective is to virtually walk (or run, cycle, swim etc.) to Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh (20,000 km although we get a “free” ride across the Indian Ocean!) where Oxfam is providing water and sanitation to the Rohingya refugees. Along the way we visit Oxfam projects in North Africa, India and Bangladesh as well as climbing Mount Kilimanjaro (just for a treat!).

We achieve our 20,000 km by the individual members of our “Super-team” logging their activity on a special website which plots our combined progress on a map of the journey. Not only walking, but gardening, Pilates, dancing and more can all be converted to distance travelled! Along the way a set of “Milestones” give information about the Oxfam projects in that country.

Although 20,000km sounds a long way, we have 3 months from 1st February to complete it. If we get 100 participants, the average distance each needs to travel is only about 13km (8miles) a week. Some will do more, others less. Whatever distance you can cover is welcome!

Any physical activity that involves movement can be included. If you have a device that records your mileage, like Strava, the website can log your input automatically. If not you can add your mileage manually, as often as is convenient. The event will go live on 1st February, ie we track our miles from then on.

First get an entry ticket costing £10 per adult, which you buy this at the event page : https://zentoevent.com/the-oxfam-community-winter-challenge/ A reply will explain how to register with “MyVirtualMission” which takes your distances and shows where the team have got to as the days pass by. Only adults (over 18s) can buy tickets, but at the registration step, you can include one minor up to age of 18; you simply add their name to yours.

Along the way chances to donate to Oxfam via Justgiving will appear, these are optional, people can donate as appropriate, or share to friends who might donate. The page for Oxfam St Albans supporters to donate on is https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Oxfam-St-Albans

Oxfam desperately needs our support at this time in its efforts to help the vulnerable and those in poverty. The Covid pandemic and climate change are hitting the neediest people hard and many of the traditional means of raising funds, like the Oxfam shops and street collections are closed at the moment. So, please join in, have some fun and do a lot of good!

 

Oxfam Walk for Water – End of year update – we have raised £5,068 – well done everybody!

Dear Oxfam friends, we hope this finds you well.

  • Thanks – big thanks – to everybody who made September, October and November their “Walking for Oxfam” months.
  • Continued donations by our trusty supporters meant by Christmas time we had raised an amazing total of £5,068 for Oxfam Walk for Water 2020.
  • Thank you so much to all who have joined in.
  • Oxfam Walk for Water went onto a flexible footing as we could not bring walkers together on a set date.
  • You could still walk your favourite route and donate via our Walk for Water Justgiving site to help Oxfam’s Water Projects. You can walk anywhere – no need to be in St Albans!
  • Send your photos and messages of support to oxfamstalbans1@gmail.com – and follow Oxfam St Albans on Facebook.
  • Go the Routes 2020 page to download the traditional Oxfam routes near St Albans and see new suggestions
  • Our classic 3, 5, 8 and 15 mile Oxfam routes have been checked and written so they can be followed without the usual Oxfam waymarks, are still available on the Routes 2020 page, either to print or save on your phone.

Oxfam needs our help more than ever as it tries to bring clean water and handwashing to those in need. The new Oxfam Handwashing Station can be a real lifesaver in situations such as refugee camps. Each one costs £45 to make – that means we could have sponsored 112 of them so far!

Oxfam Walk For Water 2020 – Update 6th June

Dear Oxfam friends,

Current circumstances mean we’ve decided:

  • Our 2020 event needs to be flexible
  • So we encourage you to start walking NOW
  • Log your walks & DONATE to Oxfam’s Walk for Water page as you go
  • We will publish our ROUTES so you can use these – or choose your own
  • FUNDRAISING ENDS 26th September
  • Read more below and watch for our updates!
  • To see details of Oxfam’s response during the global COVID-19 pandemic HERE

With its shops and fundraising avenues like festivals closed, Oxfam needs our support more than ever. However, circumstances mean we cannot offer our Walk for Water in the usual way, as bringing walkers and helpers together at the Scout Hut and at places around the routes would not be responsible. If we can waymark some routes on certain dates we’ll announce it.

So, we are switching to a flexible approach and one that fits the current lifestyle emphasis on outdoor exercise.

Start your Walk for Water efforts NOW by logging your countryside walks. Follow the classic 3, 5, 8 and 15 mile Oxfam routes, which we will post here on our website and develop your own favourite walks and tell us about them.

Write into us at Oxfamstalbans1@gmail.com with your photos and news of where you have been. Let’s build a “Walk for Water” community this year. Who can log up the greatest mileage?

Our original event date of 26 September can be the target date for completing fundraising.

Fundraising arrangements. All participants donate to Oxfam (you decide the amount) and/or also collect sponsors. We have a Just Giving page already running and here you or your sponsors can donate money and opt to Gift Aid it too, giving Oxfam a valuable 25% increase. However, if you are putting money aside at a more gradual rate then start a “Oxfam Fundraiser Sheet” and log your progress towards a water cube or a hand-washing station. Each time you reach another £10, donate to the Justgiving page and tell us about your walks.

We know that Oxfam will have great needs to meet in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene fields – its special areas of expertise – so we want to rise to the challenge and fundraise as much as before. Join in and help us get there!

The money placed on the Justgiving page will be available for Oxfam’s use within a few days, helping it to respond to Covid-19 situations and people in need.

St Albans Group Fundraising successes

In October 2018 our volunteers held an emergency street collection in aid of the Indonesian Earthquake & Tsunami. Thank you to the people of St Albans who once again gave so generously – helping us collect over £600.

If you were unable to donate on the day, you can use the attached link to give directly to the DEC Appeal.

 

Thank you to everyone who made 2019 Walk For Water a HUGE success!

Thank you to everyone who came along & took part in the Oxfam Walk For Water last year on another sunny September day for the Oxfam Walk!  Yet again some 250 people joined us on a gorgeous day including 100 scouts and their families!

We have raised an impressive £7700+ through donations on the day & via our Just Giving site against our goal of £5000.

Not paid your money in yet? Just go on the Just Giving website or send us an email to oxfamstalbans1@gmail.com for any further details.

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO WALKED, SPONSORED WALKERS, MARSHALLED, VOLUNTEERED AT THE REGISTRATION POINT, SERVED REFRESHMENTS, SOLD FAIRTRADE GOODS AND NOT FORGETTING BAKED AMAZING CAKES, BISCUITS, SAMOSAS AND PAKORAS!

Oxfam’s work with water and sanitation

 

In the UK we take clean, safe water out of our taps for granted, but in so many other countries it’s not like that. People who use unsafe river water for drinking suffer a high risk of disease. In addition, the journeys to collect water are dangerous; women and girls may get attacked whilst on their way. The hours spent in walking represent time lost from schooling, working and caring for families. Just as important as clean drinking water are adequate toilets. You can see more about the work Oxfam does on water & where your money will go HERE 

Watch HERE to view a video demonstrating the Lifesaver Cube which we are raising funds for at the Walk For Water. One Cube provides a family with clean drinking water for a full year & costs just £21.39!

 

Thank you to everyone who supported our Oxfam Theatre Nights

Oxfam has benefited from three charity Theatre Nights at the Abbey Theatre in St Albans in recent years. In November 2019 we raised over £1000 through ticket and raffle sales at the performance of “Pitmen Painters”. Thanks to everyone who came along, to our dedicated volunteers and those who donated prizes. Thanks too, to all at the Abbey Theatre, St Albans.