Bridge the Gap Charity Walk smashes £500,000 milestone

13 November 2018 • Community

Bridge the Gap – the annual charity walk around Cambridge, its Colleges and their gardens – was celebrated on Tuesday 13th November. £31,926.94 was presented to the benefiting charities, Romsey Mill and Arthur Rank Hospice; taking the impressive grand total raised since 2001, to nearly £505,000!

The funds raised by this year’s walkers in what was the event’s seventeenth year, will be split evenly between two charities.  To mark the occasion, The Cambridge Building Society opened the doors of its Central Cambridge store to more than forty guests, who gathered to reminisce about the highlights of this year's walk. Participants, sponsors, partners, suppliers and volunteers were welcomed by the Bridge the Gap Committee as the grand total was revealed. Aristocaters and Co-op food stores - both generous partners of Bridge the Gap Walk - provided nibbles and wine respectively, which were very much enjoyed by guests during the evening.

A photo presentation, showing highlights of this year’s picturesque route, including special features of the College grounds and Museum of Zoology, provided a colourful backdrop to the chatter. Dr Lynn Morgan CEO of Arthur Rank Hospice welcomed guests, going on to explain why Bridge the Gap is such an important event to both the benefiting charities and the City of Cambridge as a whole:

“This event has a real sense of excitement about it. The Colleges change every year and with that, the Committee continue to work hard to develop not just the route but the whole experience.  It really does just get better and better. From the Society of Cambridge Tourist Guides dotted around the featured Colleges' grounds, to the talented City of Cambridge and Waterbeach Brass Bands and Cambridge Lindy Hoppers at Parker’s Piece, I never fail to be amazed by the enjoyment I get from this event. Furthermore, it is truly wonderful to know that this enjoyment is ultimately converted into vital funds, which help ensure the delivery of our essential care each and every day, at the Hospice and across the county.”

Representatives from the event’s sponsors were in attendance, including the Rotary Club of Cambridge, TTP and Stephen Mitcham, CEO from Cambridge Building Society who also spoke. He adds:

“This was our 10th year as headline sponsor for Bridge the Gap and we’re delighted to have played such an active role in another successful event which has raised an incredible amount for two very important local charities. This year the event was enjoyed by over 154 members of our staff and their families! It’s a firm fixture on our calendar here at The Cambridge and remains an iconic and well-loved event for Cambridge residents and visitors alike.”

Neil Perry, Chief Executive of Romsey Mill, concludes:

“Bridge the Gap charity walk is a superb example of what is possible when so many different organisations, groups and individuals come together to organise, deliver and participate in a such unique community event.  The money raised will help to make a huge difference to the lives of the hundreds of disadvantaged local children, families and young people with whom we work. On their behalf, and on the behalf of the whole team at Romsey Mill, I want to thank everyone who helped make Bridge the Gap happen, as well as everyone who paid to take part in the walk, raising vital funds for Romsey Mill and Arthur Rank Hospice Charity.”

The evening also provided a wonderful opportunity to recognise the fantastic contribution that Lynn Morgan has made to Bridge the Gap Walk, during her last eight years as CEO at Arthur Rank Hospice Charity. Stephen Mitcham presented her with a bouquet of flowers, thanking her for her energy and passion. Lynn has always been at the start venue – initially at Jesus Green and in later years at Parkers Piece - at the crack of dawn, helping set up and then encouraging thousands of people across the start line. Lynn, who will retire in March 2019, comments:

I have thoroughly loved being part of Bridge the Gap. Our City is a very special place and through this walk I - like many others - have had the opportunity to see and learn about special features I didn’t even know existed in the Colleges and their grounds. I will now look forward to returning as a participant in future years!”