An Oswestry pensioner has stepped up to raise funds for Derwen College Charity after embarking on her own sponsored walk after the college’s official walk was cancelled.
Olive Morris, aged 76, has raised £250 for specialist Derwen College, in Gobowen, by completing a 10km from her home. The route passed Babbinswood, Middleton and Aston Hall.
Ms Morris, who has completed 51 official sponsored walks for the residential and day college for young adults with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND), said she was determined to do her bit for the college.
“I had already raised a lot of money before the walk was cancelled because of the coronavirus. So, doing the walk on my own seemed the right thing to do,” she said.
Ms Morris started walking for Derwen College 52 years ago, and has taken part every year since.
She walked the 10km route on what would have been Derwen College Fete day, another charity event which unfortunately had to be cancelled.
“I’ve always enjoyed walking, and it has become a tradition that I enjoy. This year, was different with being on my own and taking a new route, but it was a lovely day to be out walking. I took some pictures around the route as proof I’d completed the 10km. I haven’t managed to raise as much as I usually do. I normally collect around £500, but it has been more difficult to see people.
“I’d like to thank everyone who sponsored me. I always said I would retire from the walk when I got to 70 but as long as I’m fit enough, I plan to keep on going.”
Olive has kept herself fit by walking and gardening during lockdown, regularly attending to her garden and allotment. Although she says she has missed many of her evening social clubs which include dancing, whist and gardening clubs.
Derwen College fundraiser Anna Evans said she was delighted that Ms Morris had raised such a lot of money for the college, despite the walk being cancelled.
She said: “Olive Morris is an inspiration. We are so grateful that she used her imagination and continued to raise money for Derwen College Charity even when the official walk had to be called off. It’s a difficult time for charities; we have had to cancel big fundraisers including the Sponsored Walk and Run and Summer Fete. We estimate that we have lost a potential £50,000 worth of charity funds due to the coronavirus. We hope that others might take inspiration from Olive to find new ways to raise money which supports students with SEND in developing their learning and independence skills.”
Derwen College is busy planning alternative fundraising events including a challenging virtual walk for staff and student families in August. Find out more about supporting Derwen College Charity here or contact Anna Evans at [email protected] for more information or to share your fundraising ideas.