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Charity walk raises £10k for good causes

The KM Charity Walk raised an impressive £10,000 for nine good causes on Sunday (June 23).

The KM Charity Walk gets under way (12900716)
The KM Charity Walk gets under way (12900716)

Friends, families, workmates, charity volunteers and trustees, and the odd canine or two headed to Mote Park in Maidstone to take part in the challenge event.

They had two routes to choose from: a five-mile stroll, and a more demanding 10-mile hike, with both starting and finishing at Audley Mote House.

Participants were also treated to music provided by Kent band Acoustic Tones, and enjoyed a barbecue served up by Audley Mote House, delicious treats from Simply Ice Cream, and a craft workshop and a scavenger hunt organised by the Kent Wildlife Trust.

And they helped choose the winners of a scarecrow challenge organised by Maidstone Riverside Rotary.

The club positioned thirty scarecrows submitted by Kent schools and youth organisations around the park to create a special trail. Two entries chosen by walk participants and a panel of judges shared £250 in cash.

The panel of judges awarded £100 to Kingswood Beavers’ Buggles the beaver, and the walkers chose a pair of scarecrows created by Phoenix Community Primary School in Ashford as the winner of a £150 cash prize.

Phoenix’s two scarecrows were modelled on the couple Betty O'Barley and Harry O'Hay from children’s author Julia Donaldson’s book A Scarecrows’ Wedding.

Besides Maidstone Riverside Rotary, the judging panel included representatives of the local Ramblers club and headline sponsor Specsavers. The Ramblers also helped with the marshalling, routing and signposting for the challenge.

The charities benefitting from the event were: The Kent Association for the Blind, Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex, Step and Learn Conductive Education, the National Centre for Reptile Welfare, Ickham Village Hall, Diabetes UK, the Miscarriage Association, Prostate Cancer UK and Heart of Kent Hospice.

One couple, Stuart and Lisa Cavanagh from Dartford, raised £500 for the Miscarriage Association on their own.

The other fundraisers included 83-year-old Laurence Moore from Maidstone, who took on the 10-mile route for Air Ambulance Kent Surrey Sussex.

The former paramedic, who worked for the ambulance service in the county town for 37 years and for the air ambulance itself for a year, said he was doing the walk in honour of colleagues who died in the air-ambulance crash in 1998.

At the other end of the age spectrum, two-year-old Del from Ashford also took on the 10-mile route, along with sister Connie (10) and mum Paula Drury-Larkin and dad Jonathan Larkin.

And one walker travelled from Buckhurst Hill in Essex to take part.

The event was organised by the KM Charity Team, and a share of the money raised will also be used to fund its green-travel and literacy work with schools.

Watch a video of the day here:

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