Giving Stories from our Supporters
Our supporters have some amazing stories behind why they give to the SWCPA. Here are a handful we love!
My South West Coastal Path journey started at Minehead on 3 January 2017 and I casually thought to myself that the challenge would be over and done with by the end of the year. However, I failed to factor in the unsuspecting events that life can throw at you, and I had to wait until 28 April 2022 before I stood at South Haven Point and proclaimed myself to be a ‘completer’. In the intervening years, my husband had heart surgery, we moved house, my son got married and my mother died of cancer. There was also that little matter of a global pandemic.
There is no doubt that walking is good for the soul and in the main, it doesn’t cost anything. However, as I progressed along the path and saw the work being undertaken by others to keep the trail in good order, I was resolute in my determination to ‘give something back’. So, to celebrate my achievement I decided to sponsor three new fingerposts – one for me, one in memory of my late mother and one to celebrate my son’s marriage.
Soon, I hope to sponsor a fourth and dedicate it to my husbands’ improved health. Hopefully, they will they will be there for years to come and may inspire others to think about how they can contribute to keeping this amazing adventure alive.
I completed the South West Coast Path in one through-hike between 4th September and 29th October 2022. It was a life-long ambition but one which I had to wait 55 years to achieve, albeit with early stage arthritis! I named my challenge, Keeping the Sea on the Right, and that, together with the fabulous signposting on the path, was all the navigational instructions I needed to complete!
I walked the path solo, but with other walkers I encountered and so much wildlife to observe, not to mention the breath-taking scenery, I was never lonely for a moment. It was a tough challenge, and physically and emotionally demanding, but the rewards in terms of spectacular views, and physical and mental wellbeing were more than worth the effort.
I wanted to give back to the SWCPA, and raised £1470 for them, making me a mile maker! Without their tireless work to maintain, repair and look after the path, I could never have achieved this life changing journey, and it is so important for me that others can experience the joys and the magic that the path brings, whether over one day or fifty-six!
David and Jill's Story
My wife, Jill, and I completed the path in 2019 and we loved every minute of it, walking in the stunningly beautiful coastal scenery. We chose to donate £1 for each of the 630 miles of our journey, as our way of giving something back for the wonderful experience we had exploring the South West Coast.
In support of the SWCPA, we’re proud to have been part of two campaigns – the first of these being the Step Up Appeal, which allows £10 worth of donation to carry out £25 worth of work in installing or replacing one of the 30,000 steps currently on the path. We know how vitally important good steps are to the path, especially in areas with very steep inclines and declines! Also, good steps stop walkers eroding the path as they seek the grassy edges to avoid the slippery main path. That can lead to ugly wide scars on the path which we’d also like to help erase.
The notion of erasing damage and helping to preserve the path for the future is why we decided to take our support one step further, and last year became Mile Makers. Since completing our walk, we’ve had four grandchildren, two of whom are in the picture, and it is our hope that they will be able to walk the path too, when they are older. We want the path to be a thriving resource that’s still available to their own children and grandchildren, and for generations to come. If the SWCPA is not given financial help there is a grave danger to the continuing existence of the path and we simply do not want to see that happen.
Many of us have busy lives focused on our families and our work and often it seems difficult just to make it all happen on a day to day basis. Certainly, that was the case for me for many years. But when you have time or are willing to make time, it's just great to get involved with other voluntary activities, such as the South West Coast Path. Apart from the simple and exciting enjoyment of walking this wonderful trail, you meet lots of interesting people both within the organisation and along the Path, or other people involved with the management of the Path and the local areas.
"In addition to the people interaction it provides both physical and mental stimulation, which is so important for all of us. And, it makes you feel happy that you are making a contribution to something important for the enjoyment of others. I believe more people should give their time, energy and commitment to some form of voluntary activity for the sake of others, and themselves.
Do you have a giving story to share with us?
Share your story with us and recieve a special 'Thank You' from our team
If you've got a story which you think is special, whether it's a story of how you've given to the Association, how the Association or the path has given something to you, or how you're planning on supporting the South West Coast Path in the future, we'd love to hear it!
Share on Facebook and Instagram - tag @southwestcoastpath and use #MyGivingStory or email us at [email protected]