The sixth annual Bath Men’s Walk was held on Saturday 17th March in aid of Bath Rugby Foundation and Dorothy House Hospice Care, with over 500 men taking part.
This year, 560 men took part in the Walk which means the charities are on track to hopefully match last year’s fundraised total of £60,000.
The eight-mile walk along the canal path from Winsley to Bath was followed by a screening of two Six Nations matches at the Bath Rugby ground.
Former Bath and England star Dan Hipkiss supported the Bath Men’s Walk 2018. Dan who played for Bath, Leicester Tigers and earned 13 England caps, is a newly appointed ambassador for Dorothy House and helped start the walkers off from Winsley.
Another local hero to support the Walk for Bath Rugby Foundation was Bob Crampton from ITV Weather who cheered on the walkers at the start.
This year the walk, which was sponsored by Thrings, was held on ‘Super Saturday’ and walkers watched both the England v Ireland match at 2:45pm and Wales v France at 5pm. Other sponsors supporting the Walk included Fidelius, Bath Ales, Thatchers and Pieminister.
The Walk’s fundraising total has been boosted by Bath Rugby Club donating half of the bar profits taken at the Rec on Saturday to the two charities. The Three Daggers Pub in Edington took along their vintage Beer Bus and donated £1 for every pint they sold. The Rotary Club of Devizes also provided a hot food stall at the start of the walk to raise funds.
Congratulations to the two raffle prize winners who were David Middleton of Dilton Marsh who won the signed England Rugby ball and programme donated for the Bath Men’s Walk by the family of a Dorothy House employee.
Liam Stiles from the Peaky Blinders walkers team also won the Bath Rugby shirt signed by Matt Garvey.
Dan Hipkiss, ambassador for Dorothy House Hospice Care said: “I really enjoyed getting involved in the Bath Men’s Walk and meeting the teams of walkers many of whom are loyal supporters of the two charities and have done the Walk numerous times.
“I’m looking forward to next year’s Walk already and to hearing how much money everyone raised this year to support these two excellent causes. Let’s hope England have more luck in the Six Nations next year.”
Kevin Down, ‘Gill’s Boys’ team leader at the Bath Men’s Walk and husband of Gill Down said: “I took part in the Walk for two reasons, in memory of my wife, Gill, and to give something back to Dorothy House. All their staff are amazing and we couldn’t have wanted for better care for Gill.
“I hope our two Gill’s Boys teams walking in the UK and Canada have raised a good amount to help the Hospice continue to support families through a difficult time in their lives.”
Dale Hattey, Events Manager at Bath Rugby Foundation said: “As always, the Bath Men’s Walk was a fantastic day out with plenty of camaraderie along the way. Next comes the all-important fundraising so don’t forget to send in your sponsorship money as soon as possible.
“Let’s hope the Walk will raise a significant sum to support two hard-working charities that are so vital to the local community.”
Emily Knight, Event Fundraiser at Dorothy House Hospice Care said: “The Bath Men’s Walk was a brilliant success with a great atmosphere from the start.
“The funds raised by the Walk will help Dorothy House continue to give our patients, their families and carers the specialist palliative and end of life care they need.”