St Basils supporter Maggy Jennings, who is a Grandma and lives in Solihull, took on a walking challenge earlier this month, walking over 100 miles from Kirkby Stephen in Cumbria through North Yorkshire to Robin Hood’s Bay on the North East coast.
Maggy began her trek on 13th April and finished it on 22nd April. The challenge took 9 days in total. Her walk companion Chris did part of the route with her and other strangers joined her along the way but once she was feeling more confident they forged ahead without her and for 3 days she walked the route on her own.
Maggy said: “I’m still on a massive high, I can’t believe I’ve done it! It was really tough. I walk about 8 miles a week with a walking group called The Wednesday Walkers but we do no kind of hills so I wasn’t really prepared and 500ft or 800ft on a map means very little to me so I didn’t really know what I was letting myself in for. Without the support of walk companion Chris and a 74 year old stranger who walked with me for part of the way I’m not sure I could have got through it. He rang me every night to say ‘If you’ve done it today you can do it tomorrow’. He told me to just listen to my body and go at my own pace. He gave me the inspiration and the confidence to carry on and this was a total stranger! That’s the great thing about walking, you meet lots of other people along the way who walk with you.”
“I did it for St Basils because being a local charity and helping young people in Solihull having a tough time, they were the first charity that popped into my head. Also my son and grandson have done the SleepOut for St Basils so I wanted to do my bit too.”
“I was lucky with the weather on the walk. We only had one day of drizzle and a couple of days of hot sun – they were the worst. Luckily we had plenty of water. The rest of the time it was dry and cloudy which was perfect.”
“Some of it was just magical. I can’t describe what it’s like being out on the moor and literally not see another living soul for miles and miles and for hours on end. It was just me and the birds. It was wonderful!”
And the bubbling river was our constant companion for miles and miles too. We missed the sound on it when at last we veered away from it. Of course it’s sheep country as well, lots and lots of sheep across the dales. One night we stayed on a farm and in the morning I spotted a farmer with 3 babies’ bottles heading for the barn. “He said ‘do you want to help feed the lambs lass?’ so that was an experience I didn’t expect and they were so cute, wagging their tails!
The other highlights for me was when I was walking with 74 year old Peter and we were at the top looking down into this really steep valley, which went all the way down really steeply and then climbed all the way back up again. I stopped and just said “We’re not going all the way down there are we?” I didn’t think I could do it! But he seemed confident we could do it so I followed his lead and that was an absolute thrill (once we were safely back up the other side) as then I could say ‘look what I’ve done, I did that!’, and I have a wonderful photo of me on top of the world, and that’s exactly how I felt too!”
Steve Rainbow, Fundraising Officer at St Basils said: “Very well done Maggy! This was an ambitious challenge you took on and we’re all very impressed by the efforts you have clearly put in not only to complete the challenge but to raise so much in sponsorship for St Basils. On behalf of our young people, thank you so very much!”
There’s still time to sponsor Maggy to congratulate her on her epic achievement! To do this visit: uk.virginmoneygiving.com/MaggyJennings1