Closing Report on the Herts Hike 2014!
The 2014 Herts Hike has now raised over £8,000 in support of the Oxfam project “Get Girls into School” in Pakistan. This is a wonderful achievement in the current financial situation so very many thanks to all. The Gift Aid contributions coming on top of the basic £8,000 will benefit Oxfam even more.
Thank you to everyone who took part this year; nearly 250 walkers and 50 helpers were involved. The weather was also very helpful, with warm almost summery conditions that saw people sitting outside on the grass with their tea and cakes when they got home.
Work began in earnest on the Friday when five teams set out to put up the direction arrows and road signs, each marking about 5 miles of route. Then at 0800 hrs on Saturday morning the Scout Hut HQ was opened up. The first groups of walkers on the longest 17 mile route were soon keen to set off and our marshals were arriving to pick up their boxes and open up the checkpoints. The Oxfam banners were set up close to HQ and the car park. Gradually the tempo increased and by 10 am when the Mayor and Mayoress of St Albans arrived, the Scout hut was buzzing, what with walkers, the Fairtrade stall, the wonderful Sandridge 900 knitted village exhibit and the kitchen swinging into operation.
A large group from the Woodcraft Folk set off on the 8 mile circuit whilst the ladies from HAWA (Herts Asian Women’s Association) readied themselves for the shorter route in Heartwood Forest. By midday the backmarkers were setting off to dismantle signage on the longest route, whilst more people were arriving to enjoy the shorter routes, encouraged by the lovely weather.
As walkers returned to claim their tea and cakes, many said how they enjoyed the new sections of the route, which went up to the boundaries of the Sandridge parish, making the Herts Hike part of Sandridge 900-year celebrations. By 5 pm the majority of walkers were safely home and checked off, and the backmarkers were returning with all the direction arrows. Finally the Scout hut was locked up and the organisers staggered home, exhausted but satisfied.
On the following evening, somewhat recovered, 40 organisers, walkers and supporters gathered again at the Abbey Spice restaurant for a fund-raising Curry meal organised by HAWA . Once again we were joined by the Mayor and Mayoress, along with representatives from WDM, FACE (St Albans Faith and Culture Enterprise) and Sandridge900. The meal rounded off a very busy but very successful weekend.
Thank you to all who participated and helped to make the event so enjoyable and successful.
If you would like to get involved with the Oxfam Campaigns Group in St Albans then please click here to contact us.