Maria O’Leary, Parish Volunteer in St Mary Immaculate parish, Kelvedon recently undertook a 60 mile walk along the Stour Valley path to raise funds for the Lent Water appeal. She writes:
“My walk started in Newmarket on Mon 11th where it rained all day! At the start of the walk, I stopped at a pub car park to put on my boots. The landlady came out and when I told her my story she brought a cafetiere of coffee which she wouldn’t take payment for and minutes later gave me £20 towards the fund.
What a start – it brought tears to my eyes.
On Tuesday I walked from Keddington to Clare, weather was showery that day but I carried on regardless. Wednesday was Clare to Long Melford and on Thursday (Long Melford to Wormingford) I was joined on the last 6 miles by a friend who, though not a frequent walker, enjoyed it immensely. Friday was Wormingford to Thorrington Street when I had another friend join me for the full day.
Saturday was Thorrington Street to Cattawade, taking in the lovely walk along the river from Dedham to Flatford, joined by another friend. All three are now keen to walk more often, converts!
I came across a variety of animals, including a deer, fox, owl, badger and numerous horses, cows and of course rabbits. The hedgerows were full of dog roses and honeysuckle so the scent was remarkable.
The weather improved for the last 4 days, although I had a near miss when a branch came off a tree missing me by a fraction! In Sudbury I came across a seat dedicated to a friend who passed away some years ago and discovered a lovely wild garden in Flatford run by the RSPB – the piece of land was left to them by 2 sisters for that purpose.
Though I was happy to walk alone I enjoyed the company of good friends. My husband Sean was my support for the most part of the week and when he had to travel to Ireland on the Thursday I had a number of good friends who kindly took over from him.
I hope you enjoy the reading as much as I enjoyed the experience. I could easily become a professional rambler.”
To date, Maria has raised over £1200 for the Water appeal. There is still time to donate to Maria’s Justgiving site
The CAFOD Brentwood office would like to thank Maria and all her sponsors for their generosity of time and money. The life saving work now underway could not happen without the dedication of people like yourselves and is also highly valued by the communities with which we work around the world.