Being Wonderful - Andy Treks Through The Rain for his Local Community

What Difference Can An Individual Make?

How does one individual raise £1,372 for the local community?

Bristol area local and Wonderful fundraiser, Andy Saunders recently decided to embark on a multi-day walk from the English Channel to the Bristol Channel - all to raise funds for his local community. Andy recently had a health scare, with doctors recommending that he make improvements to his overall health and fitness. Andy was committed to following the advice had been given, and decide to mark achieving his target weight with a sponsored trek through the currently turning weather!

Andy pledged to walk all the way from the English Channel to the Bristol Channel, armed only with a tent and sleeping bag for shelter! His journey would take him through hilly countryside, tackling the Blackdown Hills and the Quantocks along the way. His chosen charity? The parish council in his local area, known as Binegar Parish County Council.

"Now if you are going to walk that far and sleep in a tent in November you have to tag a good cause to it, don't you?".

Despite not being an avid church-goer himself, Andy was determined to make a difference to the local community he cared so much about. We caught up with Andy after his Trek to see how he got on. You can still donate to Andy's fundraising page now if you'd like to support Holy Trinity Church Binegar Parish County Council.

What made you want to take up this fantastic challenge?

"I had a health scare and the only control that I had over how things were going to end up was weight loss and get fit, the rest I had to leave to the doctors. Because of the sort of person I am I tracked every day the miles that I covered and my weight on that date, I then forecast that I would hit my target weight around the date of my walk/trek. The trek was to mark that achievement. If you are going to do a three day walk, you just have to attach a sponsorship to it, or it would be a wasted opportunity to raise funds for a good cause."

How did you find trekking through the autumnal countryside?

"My job is all consuming Monday to Friday and sometimes at the weekends as well, it was great to have space and time. The places that I passed through were so beautiful, even in the rain. I had 2-3 hours without rain the whole trip."

Did you manage to stay in your tent despite the cold temperatures?

"Because it was always raining it was actually quite mild. I injured my knees a week before the trip and had to shed a lot of rucksack weight as I was afraid that they would not cope. So I had to put aside my 2.1 kilo brand new tent for a 1.6 kilo "coffin" sized one man tent and my "brand new" 4 season "toasty" sleeping bag, weighing 1.6 kilos was left behind and a new 762 g 3 season bag was taken. On the second night the zips on this were left open as I was so hot!"

Why did you want to raise donations for your local church - what importance does it have for your local area?

"I am not a church goer myself but many of my friends are. There tend to be lots of church sponsored events at the village hall that we attend. Even without going to church ourselves the church is an important part of village life, so it was about supporting the community that we live in. Also the church is a fantastic building that has been around for a long time and I do believe that each generation needs to step up and preserve it for the next."

What was your favourite part of the journey and did you learn anything from the experience?

"Favourite part: The space and time as I said before; the sense of having a purpose; the fresh air and freedom. The fact that I was doing a good thing and that the people that I care about were proud of me for doing it. What did I learn from it: That all the mistakes I made were things that I had learnt in the past and failed to apply, that goes for map reading and going the wrong way to blister prevention. I made lots of mistakes and they were all things that I had been taught to avoid and yet I still made them!"