Let’s generate a true Walk the Walk spirit

AN ICONIC annual fundraising walk organised by a Sheerwater-based charity is going ahead next month despite the coronavirus pandemic – but in a virtual form, instead of a large gathering in the capital.

Walk the Walk’s volunteers ready to run a MoonWalk London event before the pandemic

Supporters are being asked to take part in the 2021 MoonWalk London individually, as a family or in small COVID-safe groups, with the aim of raising £1million for cancer research. A similar event will take place in Edinburgh in June.

The annual events support Walk the Walk, which has raised more than £133million since its founder issued her first fundraising challenge in 1996.

They usually attract thousands of women wearing decorated bras to complete sponsored treks for what has become the largest grant-making breast cancer charity in the UK. Men also take part, underlining the fact that males can get the cancer too.

Walk the Walk raises awareness that men can also suffer from breast cancer

The charity’s founder and chief executive, Nina Barough, said: “For the health and safety of our supporters and fundraisers, we’re unable to meet together in London or Edinburgh this year, but COVID-19 cannot stop cancer, and it’s not stopping us.

“I’m just so excited that we are gathering such wonderful support and our supporters are uniting in their own areas, for our first daytime Virtual MoonWalk London and Virtual MoonWalk Scotland.”

Virtual MoonWalk London is on Saturday 15 May. Every entrant will be sent a Walk the Walk ‘bra image T-shirt’ to wear as they raise the charity’s profile on paths and pavements across the country.

The event has challenge for every ability, with distances of 6.55 miles (New Moon), 13.1 miles (Half Moon), 26.2 miles (Full Moon) and 52.4 miles, a Back to Back Marathon (Over The Moon).

While The MoonWalk is traditionally held throughout the night, with marshals and volunteers to look after the walkers, there will be various start times during daylight this year.

“We are thrilled that supporters and fundraisers can now walk together in small groups, creating the wonderful camaraderie that brings, and to help raise £1 million of much needed funds,” said Nina, who founded the charity in 1998 after taking on walking challenges with friends to raise thousands of pounds for breast cancer research.

Landmarks across London light up pink for The MoonWalk when it takes place in the capital

“Due to the devastating impact that COVID-19 has had on those living with cancer, this will allow us to continue providing vital help where it is needed most, to frontline cancer services. Thanks to walkers putting one foot in front of the other, we’ll be able to make more grants to charities like Penny Brohn UK, who received £50,000 from Walk the Walk to fund their vital online support services.

Nina, who suffered and recovered from breast cancer herself after she began her fundraising quest, added: “We know that many people doing a little bit can be a powerful force, so let’s generate that power in true Walk the Walk spirit.”

How to get involved:

* The entrance fee is £35 for all adults, £15 for under 12s taking on the 6.55 miles New Moon. There is no lower age limit for the New Moon.

* The minimum age for the Half Moon and Full Moon is 13 on event day. Minimum age for Over The Moon – Back to Back Marathon is 18 on event day.

* Over The Moon participants are asked to raise a minimum of £200 in fundraising. Other Walkers are asked to raise a minimum of £100

* All walkers aged over 13 will receive a Walk the Walk bra T-shirt, a bra to decorate to hang from their bumbag or belt while walking, an event cap, a space blanket, a downloadable walker number, training guides and advice for taking on the challenge.

* Sign up now at www.walkthewalk.org

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