Intrepid walkers from businesses across the region took on the MK Parks Trust 25 Mile Challenge last month in aid of the MK Food Bank.
Organised by law firm Howes Percival in Milton Keynes and supported by Mercer & Hole, AFL Hyperscale, All Things Business and PJ Care, the event saw 40 walkers set off on a 25-mile route through the parkland of Milton Keynes in a day.
Starting in Howe Park Wood, the route took in the Tattenhoe Valley to Furzton Lake and along the Loughton Valley and on to Lodge Lake. The walkers met the famous concrete cows as they made their way to the edge of Linford Lakes Nature Reserve before passing through Great Linford Manor Park, and joined the Grand Union Canal to Willen Lake and onto Campbell Park. The final part of the route followed the River Ouzel, through Ouzel Valley Park back to the start point at Caldecotte Lake.
Simon deMaid, Partner and Head of Howes Percival’s Milton Keynes office, said: “The idea came about because Howes Percival’s Milton Keynes office had been donating food to the food bank on a monthly basis. As part of these visits we had been informed about how much demand had increased but that donations were dropping, so in the summer we decided that ahead of the winter we needed to do something more.
“In the end, it was a fantastic event that brought lots of businesses together. Well done to all those who took part and a very big thank you to those that supported us with donations and with messages of encouragement throughout the day.”
Jennifer Laskey, Director at Howes Percival, added: “We were lucky with the weather, just a bit of rain and wind towards the end, but I take my hat off to anyone who runs a marathon. These boots (and feet) were certainly not made for walking 25 miles!”
The MK Food Bank provides emergency food parcels to families and individuals in Milton Keynes, who have hit a short-term crisis. Operating through local care agencies including Citizens Advice Bureau and social services the Food Bank helps ensure people are receiving support with their underlying issues.
MK Food Bank wouldn’t be able to operate without ongoing donations from fundraisers and supporters, both in terms of money and food donations. Due to the current cost of living crisis MK Food Bank’s demand for emergency food parcels has increased by 27% since 2021. At the same time, however, donations have dropped by 33%. With the cost of living due to increase in the autumn and winter, MK Food Bank’s busiest period, the organisation is running dangerously low on supplies.
Lucy said: “What an experience! We walked a little over what was planned, but we may have got lost a few times. Thank you to Howes Percival for organising such a tremendous event. It has raised over £10,000 for the MK Food Bank so far and also ticked off a great achievement while doing so.”
Joe added: “The gravity of doing a 25-mile walk only just hit me while parking up at 6am to meet our fellow challengers. Whilst I enjoy a countryside walk, this was a distance I’ve never attempted, let alone with the goal of completing it within a day.
“Not only was it brilliant to enjoy MK’s stunning rural views, but it was the sense of camaraderie amongst the cohort that really pushed me through to the finish line. I’m really proud of the accomplishment, it was lovely to develop some new working relationships and we’re so pleased to have helped raise awareness and money for such a worthy cause.”
It’s not too late to sponsor, any donations will be gratefully received via the JustGiving page. Even the smallest amount will help.