This is, by far, the biggest event in the charity’s diary and year, on year, the Walk just gets bigger and better.
Back in 2002, when fundraising began, a Crazy Hats day was held in the county whereby children and adults alike wore crazy hats for a day to raise a ‘small’ amount of money for Kettering General Hospital. Such was the success and popularity of this initiative that, through mostly schoolchildren, over £20,000 was raised in one day. It was children who suggested that we organise a sponsored Walk for adults, knowing it to be great fun and a very good fundraiser.
Wicksteed Park, Kettering was the chosen venue and with support from staff and management there, the first Crazy Hats Walk was organised in 2003. Approximately 250 people registered and an amazing £7,500 was raised. Was this an event to be repeated? Yes. In 2004, still at Wicksteed Park, over 500 took part and over £13,000 was raised. And so the story continues. We feel very proud in knowing people now call it Northamptonshire’s Walk of Walks because now, in 2014, we are approaching our 12th Walk and numbers have grown to almost 3,000 with Wicksteeds telling us the Park could accommodate 7,000!
The success of the Walks is due to the fact that it is local and all monies raised go towards agreed projects at both Kettering and Northampton breast care and oncology units to enhance their services. Everyone who takes part has had some connection with breast cancer; it is one morning a year that such like-minded people can join together and support each other whilst raising funds to help others. It is a morning of great fun, good exercise, teamwork and a great feeling of ‘togetherness’. All ages can take part and everyone is encouraged to wear ‘crazy hats’ – the array of hats is always spectacular – with awards being given for many different categories, all sponsored by local companies and individuals.
The annual Walk involves much hard work behind the scenes and on the day itself. The charity is extremely proud and honoured that AVON cosmetics have sponsored the Walk for the past six years as part of their global Walk Around the World – Crazy Hats being the UK leg. Other regular sponsors, to whom we are very grateful, include Weetabix, Walkers Crisps, AO Copy (Wellingborough), Northants Telegraph and Chronicle & Echo, Kettering Rotary Club, Bookers …. the list grows each year.
Over the years we have endured all kinds of extreme weather so we always pray for a bright, dry and sunny day. But, even if we are unlucky, we are never let down by the walkers – they really do us proud. (Take a look at previous Walk videos to capture what they are all about). If your life has been affected by breast cancer in any way, taking part in our yearly Walk is just one way you can help the charity and yourself – the ‘feel-good’ factor when you have completed the 5 lap course is wonderful. Why not get your family and friends involved? Enter a team from work? Do something ‘CRAZY’! We look forward to seeing you.