Norwich Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 19°C

min temp: 14°C

Walkers are set to take Whitlingham challenge

PUBLISHED: 13:43 26 May 2014 | UPDATED: 13:43 26 May 2014

BUILD Charity’s Janet Brandish (volunteer) and James Kearns (chief executive) preparing for their Whitlingham Walkathon Challenge.

BUILD Charity’s Janet Brandish (volunteer) and James Kearns (chief executive) preparing for their Whitlingham Walkathon Challenge.


People with sensory, physical, or learning disabilities associated with Norfolk charity BUILD, will show they can help themselves when they take on the challenge of walking the two-and-a-quarter mile route around Whitlingham Broad.

The Whitlingham Walkathon was the idea of chief executive James Kearns, a past distance walker, now restricted through worn knees and ankles, and awaiting repair surgery, but still taking on the challenge of completing as many laps as he can during the day.

He will be joined at various stages by people with a variety of disabilities and friends and supporters of the BUILD Charity, all proving the point that their focus is on achieving through ability, not withdrawing through disability.

The High Sheriff of Norfolk, Lady Philippa Dannatt MBE, and her husband Lord Dannatt, are also expected to be putting in a lap to show their support.

Anyone else can join in and the charity is inviting people to take part.

Two years ago Mr Kearns walked a marathon 26-mile distance to raise over £1,500 for the charity. BUILD members took on a two-mile route, but said that they wanted the chance to walk further, so the Walkathon concept was developed.

He said: “This is a chance to prove that two myths are incorrect.

“One is that disability prevents people from getting out and about. The other is that charities are not willing to help themselves.”

The event takes place at the Whitlingham Country Park on Saturday, May 31, between 9.30am and 4.30pm and over 30 members of the charity’s staff, volunteers and beneficiaries have already registered to take part. Among them is former trustee and current volunteer Janet Brandish, a wheelchair user, who took part in the previous challenge and was keen to show her support once more. Anyone wanting to take part in the event can turn up at any time between the start and finish times and register at a tent close to the Whitlingham Café and Information Centre, but there are two planned group walks at 10am and 2pm for those preferring to join a group.

The registration tent will act as a start and finish point for these walks.

Anyone can register to take part and pay a £5 registration fee, and then get friends and supporters to sponsor them for as many laps as they can manage.

Full details of the walk are at where supporters make a donation. For details call 01603 618029.


Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Norwich Evening News visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Norwich Evening News staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Norwich Evening News account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Most Read

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most Commented

Show Job Lists