Whittington walkers share motivation for attempting 52-mile challenge

Ali Trimming joining Aylesbury Waterside Theatre team on the 52 Whittington Walk.
Ali Trimming joining Aylesbury Waterside Theatre team on the 52 Whittington Walk.

A team from the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre preparing for the 52-mile Whittington Walk have been sharing their motivation for taking part in the challenge.

Taking part to mark their 5th birthday year and in aid of Florrie’s Children’s Team, the walkers have been busy training for the fundraiser on Saturday, August 8.

Aylesbury Waterside Theatre team at Hillingdon in training for the 52 Whittington Walk.

Aylesbury Waterside Theatre team at Hillingdon in training for the 52 Whittington Walk.

They will set off from Aylesbury at 4am, reaching London’s Westminster Bridge at around midnight.

Ian Merry, who works in the theatre’s front of house and events team, has spoke about his personal reasons for taking part in the fundraiser.

He said: “My father spent his last days in a hospice. I witnessed first-hand the quality and sincerity of care he received. I’d like to do my bit to enable others to receive that same care in the future.”

The Florence Nightingale Hospice’s annual Midnight Walk took place at the weekend and the Waterside Whittington Walkers joined in the 13-mile hike around the town, and also attempted a 16-mile pre-walk along Aylesbury Canal before the event.

Florrie's Children's Team supports Zara Stallwood aged 3 who suffers from a rare life-limiting illness, with mum Kelly centre and Josh, right.

Florrie's Children's Team supports Zara Stallwood aged 3 who suffers from a rare life-limiting illness, with mum Kelly centre and Josh, right.

Front of house cashier Gemma Strathdee said: “I took part in the Midnight Walk last year with the team from the theatre and absolutely loved it. It was such an incredible atmosphere that when this opportunity arose to do it again I just had to take part. I find walking quite relaxing and a good way to have a good gossip!”

Marketing and press assistant Ali Trimming has clocked up well over 100 miles in training since May.

She said: “I’ve been at the theatre since it opened and loved the idea of marking our 5th birthday with our biggest fundraising challenge to date. The fact that we’ll be helping poorly children has been a huge motivation and made me really appreciate having my health and being able to embrace such a challenge and raise money for a very worthy local cause.”

Team leader Emma Henderson was responsible for suggesting the mammoth charity walk and added: “It was my idea to do it, so it would be a bit awkward not to take part!”

Some of the patients and families receiving support and care from Florries Children’s Team are joining forces with Flametree Productions, the theatre’s creative learning team, to create banners to help support the walking team. To donate visit

www.justgiving.com/watersidewhittingtonwalkers