Ready to welcome walkers for 10th anniversary canal walk

Walkers take a breather at Littleborough on last year's walk
Walkers take a breather at Littleborough on last year's walk

TOGETHER they have walked hundreds of miles along a heritage path, raising thousands of pounds for charity in the process.

Now Todmorden Lions, in conjunction with other Lions clubs in Lancashire and Yorkshire, are ready to meet returning walkers and welcome new ones as they mark the 10th anniversary of Lions Charity Walks on September 25.

This year there will be a choice of two walks along the Rochdale Canal and as usual there is the option of walking shorter stretches of walks, with checkpoints allowing anyone to walk just as far as they like.

Each year a charity is chosen to benefit from money raised by the walk and this year the charity which will benefit from the walk is St Dunstan’s, which helps and works with blind ex-servicemen and women. The recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have led to a great increase in the need for their help, say the Lions.

The Lions clubs are supported on the walk by St John Ambulance volunteers and Raynet radio group, and two walks are available

The first is the walk from Manchester to Todmorden, now established as a popular route and originally chosen when all the stretches of the canal were finally cleared and opened to the public after years of work.

The 22-mile walk is an enjoyable challenge but walkers can start or finish at any of the designated checkpoints, so walkers do not have to complete it all.

And again this year there is a shorter walk, from Sowerby Bridge to Todmorden (13 miles) which also has checkpoints en route - in all, there is a walk to suit everyone’s capabilities.

For more information or an entry form walkers should ring 01706 839959 - if no-one is available, walkers as asked to leave a message on the answering machine. Prospective walkers can also email requesting the same information.

There will be some transport available to take walkers from Todmorden to Manchester to start the walk. Anyone interested should contact Lion Rod Wainwright on 01706 816802 as soon as possible.

Lions clubs from Manchester to Huddersfield link up with the Todmorden club which founded the walk. Lions clubs have no paid fundraisers. All service is voluntary and every penny raised from the public in the name of charity is spent on charity.

This year Lions clubs in the British Isles and Ireland have announced they are to raise funds for the new St Dunstan’s medical facility at Llandudno, North Wales. This is to supplement existing centres in Sheffield and Brighton in providing care for 3,000 blind and visually impaired ex-servicemen and women and their families.

Charities which have benefitted from the walk in the past include Cancer Research, McMillan Nurses, Children in Need, British Heart Foundation, Yorkshire and Northwest Air Ambulances, Myasthenia Gravis Association, and the Laura Crane Trust.