On Thursday, 16 May 2019, 18 members of staff took part in a 25-mile sponsored walk around London to celebrate the 25th anniversary of The River Group. They raised money for River’s three chosen charities: Katie Piper Foundation, Demelza Hospice Care for Children and Dogs Trust. As of 16 May, the walk had raised £5,000 – a significant contribution towards River’s goal of £25,000 to mark its anniversary.
The scenic 25-mile route took in some of London’s best parks, waterway walks and iconic landmarks.
With the weather on their side – 18°C and sunny – at 8.50am the team was fresh-faced and ready to go.
After a swift march through Hyde Park, past Kensington Palace and down through Kensington, they reached Brompton Cemetery, just behind Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge stadium.
Keeping up a good pace of around 3½ mph, the walkers passed Albert Bridge and carried on towards Battersea Park.
In Vauxhall, they met up with friends from The Ramblers, who went along for moral support and put in a few miles along London’s South Bank.
Hitting the 14-mile mark, and just over halfway, everyone had a quick bite to eat near London Bridge and reflected on how sore their feet were getting.
The team powered through to Tower Bridge, completing the southern part of the route. After crossing the bridge, they negotiated the historic cobbled path by the Tower of London.
As they strolled through Whitechapel and into Shoreditch, the walkers notched up 16 miles.
After making their way through Hoxton, the walkers descended onto the canal footpath to start the western leg of the journey.
By this stage, the team had broken into two groups, but were reunited at the 20-mile point, where they enjoyed well-earned refreshment at Islington’s The Angelic.
It’s worth noting that, while the rest of the team took the weight off its collective feet, River’s managing director Jackie Garford and strategy & planning director Rachel Middlewick were way ahead, not wasting a minute in getting to the finish.
Walking through Angel, 20 miles in, the weary walkers were tempted to jump on the bus back to Marble Arch… but thought better of it!
They made their way back onto the canal towpath, then walked past King’s Cross and into Camden.
As they headed through Regent’s Park, everyone was really feeling it, but spirits were still high.
After passing Great Portland Street tube station, the walkers made their way through the back streets, avoiding busy Tottenham Court Road, and into Soho.
The final stretch of the walk took them across Trafalgar Square, along The Mall and through Green Park to Hyde Park Corner, then back into the office, having hit more than 25 miles.
Jackie and Rachel managed to finish over an hour earlier than the rest of the team, so a big congratulations to both of them on their impressive effort. When the rest of the team made back to the office, everyone had well-deserved pizza and Prosecco (and, most importantly, a sit down).
Fundraising is still open on our Just Giving page, click here to donate.