Article by Guy Bell: A record number of walkers helped raise money for 110 charities at the biggest ever John Baron Fun Walk in Billericay.
The annual walk, hosted by Billericay and Basildon's MP at Barleylands, attracted 2,500 people from across the county, as the charity banked £40,000 for its bonus pot.
This year's event expanded across a larger field following the growth in popularity and gave individuals the chance to thank charities close to their hearts.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by John Baron"]The day was phenomenal with record numbers of people and a record number of charities participating. There was a great feeling throughout with regard to stall holders and the people who came along and enjoyed the day. The Fun Walk keeps going from strength to strength and each year it gets a bit bigger. It has always been about raising awareness as much as it is about raising money. The bonus pot is where businesses and individuals put money into a pot that totalled £40,000 this year and it gets distributed on a pro rata basis. Last year for every £100 a charity raised, we were able to give them £90 from the bonus pot.[/quote]
Mr Baron said this year's pot of £40,000 is one of the biggest the charity has ever accumulated.
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by John Baron"]We have ambitions to keep growing this walk. The Fun Walk is a charity in its own right and it is helping many smaller charities in the nooks and crannies of our communities. Those charities are now seeing the Fun Walk as their main fundraising activity, which they couldn't organise on their own. Our family of volunteers deserve special praise both for another great barbecue courtesy of Team Handsome and for ensuring our move to the new location went well. This will allow us greater potential to grow the Fun Walk even more and help more causes.[/quote]
Among those taking part was Warley-based charity Special Needs and Parents (SNAP).
[quote width="auto" align="none" border="#0066cc" color="#0066cc" title="Quoted by fundraising coordinator Robert Dennis"]The Fun Walk at Barleylands is a wonderful event for our families and a great opportunity to raise sponsorship for local charities like SNAP. John Baron and all of the fun walk volunteers do a fantastic job and we are extremely grateful for all the hard work they put in year after year to make this event possible.[/quote]
Article by Guy Bell, Brentwood Gazette