Objectives: To raise money by holding an annual walking event to fund, support and sustain the following:
Raise money through an annual walk covering 146.2 miles using the public roads, which profile the Orkney coastline
This year money from this walk will be geared towards refurbishing and revitalising Papdale Primary School Play Park
Raise money for the Royal Marines charity ‘Go Commando’
Encourage folk away from the TV and promote a healthier lifestyle
My name is Richard Walker, ex Royal Marine with 12 years exemplary service. Now employed in the oil and gas sector as a Performance Coach.
I guess for me, the TV series “Royal Marines Mission Afghanistan” proved to be the spark that ignited a wanting, a drive, to give something, to do something to help support my other family... after all I am a proud to be a Marine and with this sense of being I thought it only fitting as a Marine to do something that would test my resolve once again.
June 2012 I completed the 146.2 mile walk around the Orkney road system, it was difficult, the tarmac was unforgiving and the route challenged reasoning. The road took me as close to the coastal profile as possible and I managed to raise over £2,000 for the charity 'Go Commando'
Go Commando raises money to provide better services and support for families but also seeks to bring an understanding of life behind the wire and integrating our RM families into the wider community. The tempo of deployment is unrelenting and the pressures on the serving Royal Marines and their families are great. We recognise the burden on the wives and girlfriends when their men deploy and aim to provide a helping hand and support for them. Many women find themselves miles from their own families and raising small children alone whilst their partners are away.
The Orkney Go Commando Challenge took just under four days and was completed with only seven hours sleep. The experience is without doubt a most grueling trial of strength and determination. During the walk I was overwhelmed at the level of support from my partner, her family, my family and friends. I can’t thank them enough for their kindness that fueled the achievement. However their support sewed an ambitious thought of inspiration, to make this walk an annual event that would benefit the community and bring it closer by supporting family, friends businesses and Go Commando.
June 20th–23rd 2013 on the summer solstice, my/ our aim will be to raise money. The 146.2 miles can be done individually or by promoting syndicates to walk sections. This date serves an importance historically as well as providing optimum daylight while navigating the roads and being visible to other road users.
Road users: Obviously, having a stream of walkers on the road for a period of four days creates a hazardous environment. I would like to think that a community and individuals from afar, walking together for a great cause will gain the respectful understanding from other road users. Consideration must be geared towards the visitors who arrive by ferry with ferry owners making public announcements requesting due care and attention on the roads.
An application and sponsor sheet for the walk will be made available, to be confirmed at a later date. I would respectfully request with each donation that a conscious contribution be placed with the charity ‘Go Commando’.
You can visit my page on Face Book at: Orkney Challenge
What is and why should we support the Orkney Challenge?
This ambitious plan is to promote the Orkney Challenge on a global scale... Why? There are several endurance challenges around the world, Hawaii (ironman) California, Sahara, etc. All of these locations benefit from events, local businesses i.e. shops, B&B, hotels and transport profit from the visiting crowd. Now lets visualise the historical islands of Orkney, with its unimpeded skylines, with contrasting land and seascapes. A perfect time of year to see the islands in their natural splendor.
Objective: To refurbish the Orkney play-parks and encourage the younger generation away from the TV and x-box. Funding can go towards new equipment and better facilities including sheltered equipment. Play parks are often the target for vandalism or folk who are disrespectful to other users. We all felt the benefit having wardens looking after and contributing to the community and its services, perhaps we can support this valuable asset once again.
Objective: My main ambition is to set up a trust or foundation that would enable the construction and sustained maintenance of a wooden/ metaled walkway with a metaled bridal way from Kirkwall over the skyline to Stromness. This will provide a route linking both districts with minimal interaction with the road systems that are not best suited for walkers, cyclists or horse riders.
Approaching land owners to gain permission for the route will be challenging in it's own rite.
My/our goal is to respectfully liaise and work with associated owners and organisations to create a walkway with minimum impact to the environment. It is important however to build and maintain a realistic construct that would stand the test of time and the weather.
I feel and believe when considering the views from the skyline that show off the Orkney landscape in its true glory and with the added benefit for everyone who could enjoy a healthier well-being with a growing appreciation geared at the wild hills, an incredible sky and changing seas.
Education: I would like to ask the assistance of KGS and Orkney College to design t-shirts with the winning design representing the upcoming event. An added thought would be to make the route linking Kirkwall and Stromness educational for the likes of schools and wildlife enthusiasts by having places of interest along the way, these would highlight conservation and the enormous ecosystem at the heart of Orkney from hill top to sandy shore.
The Orkney Challenge would promote a sense of ownership and pride associated to a landmark walkway for everyone to enjoy and more importantly gain access to without the hazards associated to busy roads linking the two districts. Our efforts though local can also support Go Commando
I ask of you, to offer thoughts and guidance to promote this ambitious but not impossible task.
"Beyond the very extreme of fatigue and distress, we may find amounts of ease and power we never d eamed ourselves to own; sources of strength never taxed at all because we never push through the obstruction" Scott Jurek, seven time consecutive 161 km (100-mile Western States race champion)
Go Commando are a charity situated in the town of Taunton, Somerset. The charity was set up by local businessman Sean O’Brien in 2010 after he realised the overwhelming support for the men of 40 Commando RM during and after the Herrick 12 tour of Afghanistan. He had the foresight to recognise a need in the community to offer support to the families of serving Royal Marines whilst their loved ones are deployed on active service. In the town of Taunton we have one of the largest units of the Royal Marine Corps in the country, 40 Commando RM, situated at Norton Manor, just on the outskirts of the town. Our charity has been established now for approximately eighteen months and in this time have worked consistently hard to raise the awareness of our aims
Go Commando are currently working on large scale projects to provide child care and crèche facilities, sports and leisure activities for all the family and return to work schemes for wives and partners. Many women have given up a career of their own to follow their husband and partners work which involves moving frequently around the country and overseas, dependant on his role. We are also very aware of keeping communications in tact and organise a variety of social and family events, catering for those with and without children, living on base and around the region. An opportunity to get together with other families in a similar situation helps to share concerns, draw strength and make strong friendships. 40 Commando RM tragically lost fourteen of their men in Afghanistan in 2010. They are now in preparations for a re deployment back to the region at the end of this summer 2012. Therefore now, more than ever, it is crucial that Go Commando play a significant support role for the families. Our current project is to refurbish the existing Families Centre at Norton Manor Camp. The facilities are dated and tired so a fresh lick of paint, some new equipment and a great new outdoor play area will make a huge difference. The families can then enjoy a comfortable environment to relax, make new friends and draw strength from each other at a time which will be both stressful and worrying whilst loved ones are away. Go Commando are also currently working on a full scale programme of activities to stage over the summer holidays and most weekends so everyone keeps busy.
If you would like any further information about the charity, please visit www.gocommando.org.uk or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. We always welcome suggestions for fundraising and can help you get your own ideas for an event off the ground. Give us a shout !
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