Walking the Width of Wales: Our charity heroes raise £8,000!

You may have heard about the remarkable efforts of four of our team from our office in Monmouth, Wales, who recently took on a daunting challenge for charity by walking the width of Wales.

Well, the results are in, and it’s safe to say Nathan, Sam, Harry and Kyron did themselves proud.

The quartet completed the 100km walk across Wales over three days earlier this month and, most importantly, raised a whopping £8,000 for the Velindre Cancer Centre. That huge sum included almost £4,000 in donations from supportive colleagues, friends and family, with Innovate Tax pledging to top up the total.

We know from personal experience what a difference this money will make to people currently battling this terrible disease and we would like to thank everybody who donated.

But, back to the walk, and here are all the gory details (including monstrous blisters, icy sweat and freeze-dried chilli non carne) in the words of our four heroic hikers:

Nathan:

Step after agonising step, we got there in the end with smiles on our faces and pride in our hearts.

We set off on this mission with a clear objective; to raise money for people who have had or are currently suffering from cancer. We needed to find something that would test our mettle, both physically and mentally, to give some nod of conscious thought to the similar rigors of being diagnosed with the disease. It needed to be something close to our hearts, personal to us, as well as having an uneasy air of uncertainty and trepidation. It needed to be difficult. It needed to be in Wales.

I can confidently say that the beautiful and harsh realities of Powys offered us exactly that.

When it was cold and difficult or painful and tiring, my mind did indeed drift to visions of people, friends, family who have or are suffering.

‘What they would give right now to be on this hill, icy sweat clinging to their backs, sore feet and bruised shoulders, but healthy?’

How dare I even contemplate complaining (although I have to admit I did moan and groan a few times!). We were lucky. We are so incredibly lucky.

I’m so proud to say we have done it and I’m proud of the lads that did it with me. I’m also humbled by the support of our colleagues, friends and family who kept watching the updates through the weekend and donated to our cause. It was sincerely appreciated.

I think we had some tremendous luck that weekend. I like to think good karma looked after us. Innovate Tax has always tried to raise money for the charities that are close to our hearts. This isn’t and can’t be a one-time thing. It’s a journey and one I hope to keep contributing towards until I can do so no more. Until then, watch this space.

Harry:

Being much more of a ‘two wheel’ kind of guy, I found the walk incredibly challenging, mainly due to the constant foot and hip pain. What I also failed to anticipate is the monotony of walking nearly 100km – I now have a newfound respect for the bicycle and car. Joking aside, it was for a great cause and was an amazing experience, so sign me up to the next Innovate challenge!

Kyron:

The walk turned out to be much harder than I was expecting, the 15kg bag on my back was a game changer. You know it’s bad when one of your favourite moments of the trip is eating a freeze-dried chilli non carne! When you’ve been walking for 11 hours across mountains eating just trail mix, pitching up and eating hot chilli is an incredible feeling. The walk was very challenging, but I’m proud to have completed it alongside my colleagues and raised so much money for an amazing cause.

Sam:

As someone who fancies himself as a bit of a ‘wildman’, with all the gear and a reputation for being a little outdoorsy, I confidently expected to take the challenge in my stride (pun intended). Having done a bit of wild camping and a few physical challenges in my time I thought that I was prepared for what laid ahead; how hard could walking 100km really be?

Fairly quickly, I came to realise that my confidence was misplaced and it was going to be a tough three days. After battling through some of the biggest blisters known to man, the rugged Welsh landscape, the unrelenting sun (not something I’d factored in) and my colleagues’ questionable ‘banter’, I made it to the Irish Sea through gritted teeth. Never has a man been happier to put on a pair of Crocs and crack open a warm can of cider, let me tell you! I’m genuinely proud of what we achieved and I have a newfound respect for the resilience of my colleagues as well as the beauty of my home country. The suffering we endured bears no comparison to what people across the world go through when battling cancer, but being able to help in such a small way was a privilege. #doingitforabz

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