More than 550 people took to the Chilterns Hills on Sunday to support Rennie Grove Hospice Care in the annual sponsored walk, The Chilterns 3 Peaks Challenge.
Those taking part completed either five, nine or 18 mile routes climbing either two or three of the Chilterns Peaks of Whiteleaf Cross, Coombe Hill and Ivinghoe Beacon.
This is the fifth year that the popular walk has taken place and to date the event has raised more than £300,000 to help fund the care the charity provides for local patients diagnosed with cancer and other life-limiting illness as well as vital support services for their families.
It is hoped that this year’s event will raise a further £50,000.
A group of 12 people from Long Crendon took part in the walk attempting either the five mile or 18 mile route.
Darryl Mansfield brought his family to take part and while he tackled the full miles, his two young daughters Amelia and Octavia walked the five miles with mum, Charlotte.
Darryl took part in the national 3 Peaks Challenge in June and decided it would be good for friends and family to get together to support the local version of the event.
Still smiling at the finish line after his 18 miles walk, Darryl said: “It was super – a great way to spend time together against a backdrop of beautiful countryside that you don’t usually see.
“The organisation of the day was terrific with plenty of marshals, water points and toilets.
“We will definitely take part again – even the little ones loved it.”
Louisa Spearing from Loosley Row signed up to walk nine miles with 15-year-old daughter Maddy and her friend Nia Turner, both pupils at Pipers’ Corner school. Both girls have been volunteering in the Princes Risborough Iain Rennie charity shop for nearly a year as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and they were keen to take part today, not just to support the charity, but also as training for their Duke of Edinburgh expedition planned for next weekend.
The three were accompanied by the family dog, Tallulah.
At the finish line, Louisa described their walk: “We had a lovely time and were really pleased to avoid the rain.
“The event was really well organised and everybody was incredibly friendly and welcoming. There was a lovely spirit about the whole occasion and we’ll definitely be back to walk again in the future.”
Also walking on the day were a team of four friends who called themselves the Chiltern Avengers.
Anthony Travers from Princes Risborough, Daniel Sloman and Richard Gaster from Aylesbury and Steve Paul from Milton Keynes originally got together as a team earlier in the year to complete the 54 mile Caledonian Challenge.
They then decided to follow up with a local event to offer support to a local charity and all were looking forward to enjoying the local scenery.
Rennie Grove Chief Executive, Jenny Provin, took part in the event herself this year, tackling the nine mile route with her husband, Luiz and sister, Sarah. She said: “I found it absolutely inspiring that so many people took part and were all so happy and excited to be involved with the charity.
“It is heartwarming to see people from all parts of the local community making their contributions to what was an incredible day. From the fantastic walkers of all ages and from all walks of life to our many committed volunteers, the Mayor of Tring, long-standing Iain Rennie supporter, Bill Giles, the Arriva bus drivers and even our own trustees, everyone pulled together to make the event a huge success.
“I would like to thank each and every one of them for their support.”
Jenny added: “Demand for hospice care is growing all the time and we know that this trend is set to continue in the future.
“The level of community support that I saw on Sunday gives me great confidence that, with the continued help of local people, we will be able to fundraise successfully to meet these growing needs and keep providing top quality services based around the needs of local patients and their families.”