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The WI Walks Thames Path Challenge

£849 of £1,840 goal

Raised by 50 people in 41 months
We are Anna and Louise and we are two members of the WI (Women's Institute) in London. Louise is a member of  N1WI in Islington and Anna of Stoke Newington WI in Hackney.

As part of the WI centenary celebrations we decided it would be great to set ourselves the challenge of walking the full length of the Thames Path, a total of 184 miles to help fundraise for our WI centenary celebrations this year and to make a donation to the local charities that our branches support,  Shelter from the Storm and  Refugee Women's Association . So began The WI Walks.

We will be walking the path in a total of 8 days. Walking down stream starting on 12th May 2015 from the source in Kemble and finishing at the Thames Barrier in East London.

We will also be carrying the WI centenary baton for its penultimate handover between Middlesex and Surrey. The baton has been passing through all the federations during the past year and we will be picking up the baton at Staines bridge and carrying it to the handover in Monday 18th May at 12 noon. 

Along the route we are meeting up and walking with WI members from other federations.

The WI Walks can be followed on Twitter @thewiwalks or Facebook where you can see the training walks we have already completed, including the complete Capital Ring and the London Marathon route.

Our minimum target is the equivalent of £10 per mile, but of course more is always nice.
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Here I am back stage at the AGM. My blisters have gone so I'm wearing heels today. We took in this challenge to raise money for the WI in our Centenary year and meet as many WI ladies on the route of the Thames Path as possible. We haven't quite reached out target yet, but the wonderful ladies, we meet who walked with us, lent us their spare room for the night fed and ensured hot baths at the end of the day show just how wonderful and welcoming the WI is. Carrying the Baton and waving to the Surrey and Middelsex Federations on the Steam Boat at Hampton Court on our penultimate day will remain memorable.

So now the quest is what next? Keep an eye on the Facebook page and the new Website for further developments and if you can spare a few pounds to help us reach our goal.
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We did it reached the Thames Barrier before 7pm.

Will update more later. But here's the pictures
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Last Day. Day 8 25 miles to go

A week ago today Louise and I met at Paddington Station for our 7:30 train to Kemble and the start of our Thames Path Challenge. It took the train 1 hour and 20 mins to cover the distance it has taken us a full seven days to walk.

It's an early start today to get to our start point at 8am. Travelling on tubes of commuters means getting some interesting sideways glances at my rucksack and walking pole, but of course no blatant questions - that would be too instrusive - a typical morning commute.

Being met a Kemble by the Kemble WI ladies was a real boost at the start of our walk, if you see us today give us a cheer, when we were doing our training walks I found this distance 26 miles on urban pavement the hardest and that was without a blister or feet that were already hurting.

Lunch at the Tate Britain will be a real treat especially as it looks as if the weather will be wet again. Walking with more WI members in the afternoon wil give Louise and I a real boost for the last 12 miles.

One more day to go. Keep cheering us on.
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End of Day 7

Baton, Boats, Baths and Beds

So today was Baton Day successfully collected and returned safely to the hands of Middlesex Federation, before the handover on the New Southern Belle paddle steamer as it traversed down the Thames between Middlesex and Surrey. We waved as it passed by us shortly after we nipped in and out of Hampton Court Palace.

The banks are now less fields and more houses, so we have a greater choice of boats and boat houses to imagine our who-dunnit scenarios in, but also a switch of water-fowl from geese to swans (very few ducks by comparison)

We both have very brown faces, lower arms and hands from the long days of good weather and thank goodness Monday (today) was only persistent showers with light drizzle in between in the morning and it cleared fully over by the evening. Both of us have blisters, but Louise seems to be suffering more than me and was in pain by this evening.

Tonight I get to spend in my own bed and enjoy my own bath. I think getting up tomorrow for our last day will be difficult. It will be an early start to our 8am meeting point, but I'm really looking forward to meeting more WI girls at the Tate Britian at 12:30.

I'm writing this on a London Overground train home, with commuters who are looking oddly at my rucksack and walking pole.

Attached are photos one of us with the WI Centenary Baton today and one of me and Louise with the guards at Hampton Court Palace after the sun came out and of course the New Southern Belle full of WI ladies.

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£849 of £1,840 goal

Raised by 50 people in 41 months
Created May 8, 2015
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KB
£10
Kay Brown
40 months ago

This is to say thank you for your speech at the AM in London on Thursday Anna. Well done for the Thames Path Walk too. What a week you have had!

KS
£30
Katy Simpson
40 months ago

Well done Louise! From Lee and Katy

LC
£10
Linda Carver
41 months ago

Congratulations, Anna and Louise! It was lovely to join you both on the Reading to Henley leg of your walk.

LR
£20
Lesley Raynes
41 months ago

Well done girls!

£10
India Rabey
41 months ago

Well done you two!

HF
£19
Hilary Forbes
41 months ago

Wanted to leave you £18.40 as a reward for completing the whole thing. However, it's rounded up! Well done.

KG
£10
Kate Greengrass
41 months ago

Amazing Louise! Well bloody done xx

SF
£20
Sue Foster
41 months ago

Well done wonderful ladies xxx

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