Wed. Apr 8th, 2020

IW Observer

The FREE Isle of Wight Newspaper

Walk the Wight postponed due to Coronavirus fears

3 min read

Due to the ongoing and ever-changing situation regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19), Mountbatten is now urging supporters to “Walk the Wight your way” from now until the end of May by taking part in its virtual walk.

The decision not to go ahead with the 10 May 2020 event as originally planned comes as it looks increasingly likely that the government will halt mass events and gatherings in the coming days.

Mountbatten is also not wishing to put extra pressure on public services, and its own staff and volunteer resources during what is an unprecedented time. Additionally, Mountbatten has been dealing with the challenges that the current situation causes for vulnerable people accessing our care and support, which are changing every day.

Nigel Hartley, Mountbatten CEO, said: “As the situation continues to evolve, it is becoming clear that we won’t be able to stage the event in its usual format. Although we are all of course extremely disappointed, that must not deter us from ensuring that we make the best success we can of what will be the 30th Walk the Wight.

“We want everyone to now ‘Walk the Wight your way’ and get as creative as possible in clocking up your miles. If we all pull together, I am sure we can still make the event a great deal of fun,” he said.

Nigel added: “Walk the Wight annually raises around £250,000 and is an important source of income for Mountbatten. We cannot afford to continue to deliver the services we do, as well as meet the needs of an increasing number of people, without the income that this event brings. We hope that we can still give those who support us the opportunity to take part in something amazing and help Island families who need Mountbatten’s support both now and in the future.”

Anyone who has already registered will now receive a special Walk the Wight map, which they can use to complete Walk the Wight in their own way whilst still collecting sponsorship. Walking, running, cycling, skipping – all activities count. Additionally, anyone who still wants to get involved can register in the usual way on the Mountbatten website and receive a fundraising pack and map. There will also be a link to a downloadable version of the map and sponsorship form. T-shirts and medals will be available as normal.

Ron Bowler, founding member of Walk the Wight and long-standing volunteer, is among those not being deterred by the change. Ron said: “I’m already thinking about how to get involved in ‘Walk the Wight your way in May’. It’s obviously disappointing but I am determined to celebrate the 30 years and help raise as much as possible for the hospice. Both the history of the event and the work that Mountbatten continues to deliver to Islanders deserves that we all still put our best foot forward”

Fun ways to ‘Walk the Wight your way’ at home or in the garden include:

  • march up and down the stairs
  • relay with your kids in the garden
  • bouncing on the trampoline
  • host an indoor gymkhana with your family
  • dance or do a keep fit routine in your lounge

Activities are not limited to Sunday 10 May and people are urged to start today until the end of May. Please ensure you keep updated with the latest government advice before you undertake your ‘Walk the Wight your way”.

Nigel concluded: “Please support Mountbatten; I cannot stress this enough. We are living during unprecedented times, but we cannot afford to take our eye off the ball as more and more people need the care and support that we offer. We need to make this unique and different version of ‘Walk the Wight your way’ the usual huge success that our community makes it. God willing, we will be back to normal in a year’s time.”

Mountbatten will continue to review all events and fundraising activities and implement any official recommendations or advice from Public Health England and other relevant organisations as the situation changes and further advice is given. Updates about other events and service information will be available on the Mountbatten website

Additionally, please follow the latest official advice and information on coronavirus, which can be found on the UK Government and NHS websites.