Ely charity marks its 10th annual walk - raising more than £150,000 to help people recover from cancer

PUBLISHED: 14:33 26 June 2018 | UPDATED: 14:33 26 June 2018

Ely students and teachers set to walk miles to raise money for charity

Ely students and teachers set to walk miles to raise money for charity

Archant

Students and teachers from Ely will take part in a 40-mile charity walk to help raise money for young people recovering from cancer.

Ely students and teachers set to walk miles to raise money for charityEly students and teachers set to walk miles to raise money for charity

The Malcolm Whales Foundation, a charity established in 2008 by former Ely College-teacher Damien Whales in memory of his father, has raised more than £150,000 from the event since its launch 10 years ago.

The annual Dorset Walk along the Jurassic Coast will see more than 150 schoolchildren and teachers from Ely, Peterborough and Northamptonshire take part in it.

They will walk 40 miles of the South West Coast Path from Weymouth to Studland Bay over three days, from July 13 to 15.

Each will have raised an average of around £100 to participate, and will also rattle buckets to raise more as they walk, passing features familiar from their geography textbooks such as Lulworth Cove, Durdle Door and Old Harry.

Ely students and teachers set to walk miles to raise money for charityEly students and teachers set to walk miles to raise money for charity

The walkers also clean up the trail as they go, helping maintain some of the National Trust’s coastal countryside.

The Foundation uses the money to provide practical help for young people recovering from cancer and other life-changing illnesses.

Damien Whales, former Head of PE at Ely College, said: “I am always blown away by the amount of support we get for this walk, both from the walkers themselves and their schools, and also from our generous sponsors.

“Ten years ago, as I took just 30 Ely students to Weymouth, I would never have dreamed that some of them would now be involved in running the foundation, nor that we would be able to help so many people through the funds we’ve raised since.

“It’s become a proper logistical operation now, and is hard to pull off alongside my day-job, but I know my dad would have little sympathy for that. I’m fairly sure he’d be proud of what we’re doing in his name.”

Malcolm Whales was only 55-years-old when he died of bowel cancer in 2008.

He had taken an interest in endurance challenges and in particular long distance walks, and so Damien thought these would be a fitting way of remembering him.

The Foundation is always looking for charities and worthy causes to support, and also welcomes interest from companies or individuals who wish to sponsor its events.

To donate to the foundation visit: www.malcolmwhales.co.uk/donate/4539153919

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