Over 300 CRY supporters took part in the 7th CRY Durham Riverside Walk on Saturday 1st October 2016. Thank you to everyone who attended and helped to make the day so special. This year, for the first time, permission had been obtained for a new route which included Durham’s historic city centre.
It was, as always, a greatly affecting sight to see everyone coming together to walk in memory of a young person. As in previous years, it gave families the opportunity to meet with friends and other family members as well as CRY staff and volunteers and take part in a scenic walk. The event will have greatly helped to raise awareness of CRY’s ongoing work and help reduce the incidence of young sudden cardiac death, more so this year with the new route, which included iconic sites such as Durham Cathedral and Castle, the River Wear, Durham Town Hall and Market Place where CRY had an awareness stand and where the water station was situated.
The walk was attended by CRY staff Rebecca Zouvani, Ben Robinson, Cara MacMillan and Nicola Taylor. Ben kindly drove the CRY team and equipment/literature from Surrey to Durham via Harrogate (to pick up water donated by Harrogate Spring Water).
We were very lucky with the weather. It started off crisp and dry and the sun quickly shone through and remained for most of the day.
The walkers appreciated the hot drinks and bacon sandwiches that were laid on by Durham Amateur Rowing Club before the walk. Participants checked in, queued patiently for their sandwiches, picked up a balloon, and chatted amongst themselves whilst looking at the new CRY displays and taking a selfie using CRY’s new selfie frames. As we waited for everyone to arrive, CRY staff and the photographer, Doug Moody, took details and photos for the local press. Thanks to our supporters, the event once again enjoyed a great deal of local press coverage before and after the event – including articles in the Northern Echo, Gazette and Durham Magazine. We also anticipate further coverage over the coming weeks.
The vast majority of people, some of whom have taken part every year (including the Dean Anderson, Kasia Ber and Levon Morland teams), took part in memory of a young person who they had tragically lost to young sudden cardiac death.
This year, participants were walking and volunteering in memory of Robert Allan; Jack Balfour; Kasia Ber; Christopher Britton; Andrew Callender; Stephen Carey, John Clayton; Kevin De Silva; Rory Embling; Ashley Goodwin; Dean Henderson, Dale George Holder; Damien Jewell, James and Leon Johnsen; Alan Lumley; Stephanie Charlotte McLean; Levon Morland; Kevin Paterson; Robert Daniel Smith; Natalie Stewart and David White.
Just before 11am, once everyone had checked in, we assembled outside the rowing club. CRY Fundraising Manager Rebecca Zouvani made a short introductory speech to thank the rowing club; product suppliers; Steve Percival, Jeff Morland and all the volunteers on the day for their help; and all the families for taking part – as well as sharing a few CRY 20th anniversary facts. She then introduced Steve Percival who gave out some safety instructions as well as a few interesting facts about the figure 7, referring to the number of years that the Durham Walk has taken place. He also read out the names of the young people in whose memory people were walking or helping out. Jeff Morland said a few words of encouragement to the walkers before officially starting the walk.
After all the photos had been taken, the walkers (with wheelchairs, buggies, toddlers and dogs in tow) set off on the walk, picking up bottles of donated Lucozade Sport Lite, Harrogate Spring Water, soft drinks, cereal bars and chocolate bars on the way. Following the beautiful River Wear, walkers took in the magnificent views. They were able to pick up more water along the route, at the CRY stand in Durham Market Place, manned by Kenny and Maralyn Bowen. First aid cover was provided by North East Rescue and Medical Services (NERAMS) again this year.
Each walker was welcomed back to the rowing club by volunteers Marilyn Robinson and Jean Spence, who were unable to take part with their families but wanted to help on the day. They were handing out a certificate, a feedback form and a voucher for a free bag of Popchips, which were kindly donated. Durham Amateur Rowing Club once again opened the bar and generously provided delicious toasties for CRY staff, volunteers and the walkers on their return.
We would love to see everyone again next year, and, with the new route, hope to see more new faces. We are hoping to hold the event on Saturday 30th of September or Saturday 7th October 2017, TBC, so please provisionally keep these weekends free if you are interested in attending. If you would like to be advised when a date has been confirmed for 2017 please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We never forget that most of the walkers who take part in the Durham Walk do so for very personal reasons – and all of us at CRY appreciate their tremendous effort and courage in taking part.
We are also very grateful to the following companies and organisations for their support of this event:
- Durham Amateur Rowing Club for providing a great venue at a discount, year after year, and to Mark Bell and his team – Elliot, Graham and John – for making us so welcome and helping out with setting up and even loading and unloading the CRY vehicle.
- Durham Safety Advisory Group for approving the route.
- Durham University for allowing us the use of the cricket club’s carpark.
- Popchips for donating vouchers for crisps.
- Harrogate Spring Water for donating bottles of water.
- Radflex for donating chocolate bars. This donation is secured each year by David (Joe) Crow.
- Colin Wilkes and Durham Markets Company Ltd for providing CRY with a free awareness stand in Durham Market Place.
- Vertu for providing volunteers and a team to take part.
- Kendall Cars for giving us a reduced rate for one of their vans.
CRY would like to thank all the volunteers for their help before, during and after the event: helping to organise the event and attending meetings; obtaining necessary permissions; carrying out a risk assessment; marking out the route; promoting the event; driving; pre-event telephone calls and emails; marshalling; assembling walkers packs; distributing walk leaflets; registering walkers; inflating balloons; handing out water, chocolate bars, certificates and feedback forms; and clearing up.
We really couldn’t run an event like this, so far away from the CRY office, without the help of our dedicated volunteers: Steve Biglin; Kenny and Maralyn Bowen; David (Joe) Crow; Linda and Geoff Goodwin; Dick Henderson; Caroline Imrie; David Jewell; Aran Morland; Jeff Morland; Marianne Mortemore; Wendy Moss; Steve Percival; Janette Pollard; Ted and Emily Philo; Marilyn Robinson and Jean Spence; and Mark, Elliot, Graham and John from Durham Amateur Rowing Club.
A big thank you also to the participants who kindly helped with media for the walk. This resulted in some articles already appearing in the press.
Special thanks, once again, must go to Jeff Morland and Steve Percival, the instigators of the walk, for helping to organise the event and making it all happen each year.
Photos by Doug Moody
These are a selection of photos from the day. All of the photos are available on our Durham Riverside Walk 2016 Flickr gallery.
If you participated in the walk and took photos which you would like to see included, please send them to email@example.com with the subject “Durham Walk 2016 photos”.