On the 23rd of September 2023, our wonderful team of trekkers took on the incredible Jurassic Coast Challenge. Trekking 32 miles over 2 days along the beautiful south coast of England. We are all so proud of the team for completing this extreme challenge and raising an amazing £14,221.82 for which we also wish to thank everyone who donated to the work of Caring Matters Now in support of the team.
Katy Jackson, our Young Adult Contact, drove the support vehicle and encouraged the trekkers over the weekend to keep going to complete the challenge! Here, Katy shares her account of the weekend…
5am somewhere near the Jurassic Coast, a group of intrepid explorers are foraging for breakfast and planning the journey to their next point of safety…Not! Instead, they woke up at the Premier Inn, in Weymouth, on a great night’s sleep and a full English breakfast, with their route for Day ONE planned out for them! That being said, there was still apprehension in the air, a nervous excitement that only comes from taking on a challenge of such epic proportions! Thirteen people who all had their own individual reasons for signing up, but a collective goal of raising funds and awareness for Caring Matters Now!
Our fab team of trekkers set off at 9:15am, full of enthusiasm and with a spring in their step. The first stop was 3.5 miles away – which they walked in just over 2 hours along the Weymouth seafront. By the time they arrived, everyone had had the chance to meet properly, and were busy sharing their story and why they’d signed up in the first place- some were still unsure what had made them do it!
The thought of lunch spurred them on to the next stop, covering another 4 miles. A quick refuel and they were off again, the terrain starting to get hillier but the views getting better and better. At the next checkpoint, a few blisters were starting to form, but spirits were still high! With only 6 miles left of the 18 to be covered on Day ONE, everyone was determined to make it to the end of the day! However, a detour around Lulworth Army Firing Range meant a slightly longer stretch than planned, however the team pulled each other through. The additional walking gave plenty of time for experiences to be shared and friendships to be made. Right on schedule, the team crossed the finish line of Day ONE, and a pit stop in the pub before heading back to the campsite gave everyone time to reflect on the day’s achievements!
The next part of the challenge: setting up a tent. A difficult task in ‘normal conditions’ made even more difficult after walking 18 miles! The team pulled together again, making sure everyone had a secure place to sleep for the night. Dinner was served later that evening giving more opportunities to reflect on the day and share stories with loved ones cheering them on from home.
Day TWO really did start at 5am for some! It was a windy night and add to a few nerves for what was going to be a tough day’s walking. The terrain was hillier and more remote, with only one check point for lunch. With bacon and sausage sarnies for breakfast, the morale returned as the sun rose, and they were ready to go!
The views continued to be spectacular as they journeyed along the coast! Passers-by were intrigued, including one who worked for a German newspaper and insisted on taking a photo of the team to publish when she got home from holiday! Who would have thought that international awareness could come from such an event? By the time they appeared for lunch at 12.30pm, there were some sore legs and feet, and a couple of injuries within the team. By this point, everyone was determined to make it the last 7 miles to Durlston Head Castle in Swanage, and a sore knee wasn’t going to stop that!
3 hours later…13 tired, but fulfilled, trekkers arrived at the finish point! 32 miles walked along the hilly cliffs of the Jurassic Coast in 2 days, with over £14,000 raised along the way!! Cookies and prosecco were awaiting them at the end in celebration of their fantastic achievements. An unbelievable amount of money raised for Caring Matters Now, and some lifelong friendships made too!
Taking part in a fundraising challenge is just that, a challenge, but everything about it furthers the three aims of Caring Matters Now.
SUPPORT – everyone taking part in this trek received support in some way. Whether that be through hearing the story of another parent and knowing that they’re not alone, or a teenage member spending time with an adult with CMN and realising they’ll be okay in the future, fundraising and support go hand in hand!
AWARENESS – every single person that crossed paths with our trekkers has now seen the Caring Matters Now name and logo. Even if they don’t realise it, awareness of both the charity and the people it supports has increased. And the wonderful people that took the time to stop and talk to our trekkers will be able to pass that information onto someone, furthering awareness!
RESEARCH – the funds raised by our fabulous team of trekkers will go directly to the work of Caring Matters Now, meaning that some of the funds raised will go towards funding the vital research of Professor Kinsler and her team!
Congratulations to the Jurassic Coast Trek Team 2023- you absolutely smashed it out of the park! This team of trekkers might not be walking anywhere for a while… but everyone at Caring Matters Now couldn’t be prouder of them for completing the challenge!
We are grateful to all our members that give their time to fundraise! If you would like to get involved in our next fundraising challenge, you’ve got any ideas of what our next challenge should be or you’d like to set up your own fundraising event, please do get in touch. We’re always trying to come up with new ways to give as many members as possible the chance to get involved.