Three local amateur walkers hiked through the Alps to reach their final pilgrimage destination of Rome on 15th September 2015, in aid of the Flutterby Fund.
Patrick Trant, Chairman of Trant engineering 62, Tom Finley, ex banker 69 and Bond Writer, Andy Ray, 54 walked a staggering total of 288km over 12 days, starting from 01 September 2015 in Pisa, to complete their goal. Patrick raised £25,000 for the fund – an organisation that provides funding for therapy and equipment for special needs children from low income families. The Barker-Mill Foundation kicked off the funds with a £5,000 donation. Tom and Andy raised funds for different causes.
The walkers endured early mornings, setting off most days before 6am when it was still dark, to ensure they covered their target of 16.5miles a day by foot. The team struggled with – the many hills along the route in temperatures of nearly 30 degrees.
Every morning at 9am breakfast was served at the side of the road and the food was rationed between the men in order to ensure there was enough to go round for the walk ahead.
The walkers enjoyed some iconic Italian landmarks during the trek including the lakes at Bolsena, the Piazza del Campo and finally, Rome itself where the Vatican was the final destination point.
The Pilgrimage was brought to an end with Mass held at the Irish college in Rome and the team enjoyed a hard earned authentic Italian dinner in the evening.
Patrick Trant said: “The pilgrimage was an amazing experience! It was tough but we saw some fantastic scenery on the trek and it was even more special to take on the challenge for such a great charity.
“There were highs and lows and even a few injuries on the way but we made it and completed the challenge which was such an accomplishment for all of us. We were even lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the Pope at the Vatican which was the icing on the cake!
“I wanted to fundraise for the Flutterby Fund as they are providing important support for Sophia’s House, a Solent based clinic that offers therapies for Special needs children. My niece requires special needs and is looked after there, so the charity and this organisation is very close to my heart.”
The Flutterby Fund is a non-profit Charity that aims to relieve the needs of children with physical or mental disabilities from low income families in the UK. This is achieved by the provision of funding for therapy provided by Sophia’s House, and equipment that will improve quality of life to low income families in the UK, this is achieved by the provision of funding for high quality therapy provided by Sophia’s House Clinic, and equipment that will improve quality of life.
Tim Jobling, Trustee at the Barker-Mill Foundation says: “We feel proud to have kick-started the donations towards the Pilgrimage but even more proud of Patrick and his team for completing the trek! What a challenge.
“The money they’ve manage to raise for the Flutterby Fund will help them to continue to help special needs children with the support and equipment they need but cannot afford. Well done!”