It is almost 27 years ago since I set off on an adventure walk which changed my whole life and way of thinking; in effect it enabled me to do a lot more for charity than I could ever have envisaged.
Okay, I trained with the TA Parachute Regiment and occasionally ran long distances for local organisations and sports clubs at my birth place, Oundle, Northamptonshire. I also took part in team fundraising events and enjoyed my time as a weight-training instructor and cricketer. Although not all of my expeditions since 1992 have been for charity, a good many of them have helped raise valuable funds (over £100,000) and awareness for many worthy causes.
I remember setting off from Cornwall to Oundle on my first walk (1st May 1992) for Imperial Cancer Research Fund. I had opted to support this charity having lost two friends to cancer; one from each location but had little insight into the valuable work performed by many of the scientists who could easily spend their whole lifetimes striving to make just one significant discovery. I found the charity was little known in Oundle where there weren’t any shops but people were keen to support anything to do with cancer related issues. I also felt honoured to represent such a hard-working charity charged with emotional energy, dynamic objectives and a genuine sense of positivity.
The amount I raised from my sponsor forms was not of any great significance (£600 overall) and yet the publicity I received proved invaluable leading to many big organisations in the area supporting the charity, making it a prime beneficiary. Soon the yellow collection jars could be seen in many of the shops and inns of Oundle Town and local vicinity.
I have repeated this walk each decade since for the same charity which is now known as Cancer Research UK and the money I raise is donated to the oncology unit at Cambridge, now the largest in Europe.
At that point in time I realised it was the start of a new era and soon began planning a walk from John O’ Groats to Land’s End and several other expeditions around the British Isles to help many other worthy causes. Having the ability to walk a county a day meant that media coverage would become a pre-requisite within each event; and the press were able to convey the importance of my quest. With my walks becoming more than just a hobby I have enjoyed being a catalyst for fundraising and inspiring others to follow in my footsteps.
Prior to embarking on my first John O’Groats walk in 1995 I had successfully completed my Leisure/Recreation Management and M.I.L.A.M. college courses. Up until then I had a view to continuing in education and eventually work towards a Doctrine thus becoming an ambassador for the industry. It never happened as my aspirations to walk huge distances led me abroad and I subsequently became a travel writer penning more than 30 books/guides. I have even managed to sketch and paint some of iconic landmarks I’ve seen which were then transformed into book covers.
By the Millennium I had managed close to 10,000 miles in expeditions; 2009 this extended to 21,000 and in 2017 I exceeded 30,000 which also includes my annual Hospice Pilgrimages which were both founded in 2010 and walked each year with family and friends. These support Cornwall Hospice Care and Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall, Cambridgeshire.
I have walked many of the European Pilgrimages too and more recently I completed a WW1 Trilogy to commemorate the centenary of the Great War. These books were based on my experience of walking 3,000km around the war-torn region and the books are accommodated at the Education Department of Europe’s Great War Museums.
The books can also be ordered from Waterstones or downloaded from my website library; all payments will go towards valuable charity work and continuation of my support for Hospice care in Cornwall which I supported throughout my Great War Project.
This year’s events will include the usual small walks and local fundraisers in Cornwall starting with St Piran’s Walk on 2nd March.
A few of us will be walking the Cornish Pilgrimage from Morwenstow Church to St Michael’s Mount in April/May. We will include the local Gwennap Section over the May Bank Holiday Period and will be looking for volunteers to join us for the 10- mile walk or indeed any section of the full pilgrimage which may appeal to those who enjoy a challenge. There is a £10 entrance fee for participants who will be given a Pilgrim Passport as proof of passage; Sponsor forms can be provided by the charity and it is easy to set up a justgiving page. We also hold fundraising events at our local inns throughout the season. For more information about the route visit:
Pilgrimages (training walks) of Europe usually take place in March/April. Other overseas walks can occur during or after September.
The Oundle Pilgrimage (in the Nene Valley). This was founded in honour of Sue Ryder Thorpe Hall and supports hospice care and cancer research. Pilgrims can register with Volunteer Action at the Oundle Town Council Offices or Oundle Baptists, St Osyth’s Lane. Soon it will be possible to download both walking guide and passport from the book library on this website. We walk the Sue Ryder Trail every second Saturday in August (look out for the Summer Newsletter). To research the full Oundle Pilgrimage / Tourist Route which takes in iconic locations such as Fotheringhay Castle Mound, The World Conker Champianship venues past and present and the Duke of Gloucester’s former residence at Barnwell, please visit:
HEALTHY TOURISM AND FUNDRAISING
As well as fundraising awareness we endeavour to promote these lovely walks with the Tourist Industry as a great gateways to our wonderful kingdom to explored and enjoyed by all. Who knows even Countryfile may take an interest one day!
All proceeds from pilgrim passports go to charity; each participant uses the passport to collect signatures and stamps from venues/churches along the way
LOCAL COMMUNITY WALKING DAYS
These are based on short 3-5 mile walks within the Gwennap Region. We are looking to return to the Sunday morning pub walks; but also I will be liaising with Lanner Council to see if there is an interest in starting a midweek walking group. A small fee would cover a talk and there would be an opportunity to buy books about my previous expeditions. All proceeds will fund charity work and hospice care.
Information about these activities can be found at Community Walks on Facebook,.
Archives of Great walks abroad and at home can also be found on Facebook at: Robin Moore’s Walking For Charity on Facebook. There are videos on YouTube too.
Look out for quarterly newsletters and bulletins at this website; or why not download one of my book titles and help support a local charity.
Thank you for reading this document and feel free to support our campaigns either contributing at our justgiving pages or coming along to join the action as an active participant helping to raise funds for charity.