More than 400 people marched together at the annual Bath Rugby Walk, raising vital funds for two local charities.

The massed walkers put their best foot forward along the Kennet and Avon Canal from Winsley to Bath on Saturday, March 7 to support the work Dorothy House and Bath Rugby Foundation.

Walkers from across the region came together and shared stories of their connections to the two charities as they made their way into the city. 

Before officially starting the walk, former ITV West weatherman Bob Crampton was joined by former Bath and England player John Hall and Bath Rugby players Levi Davis and Rhys Davies.

John Hall, President of Bath Rugby spoke eloquently and movingly about his Dad who died just a few days ago in the care of Dorothy House. John said: “My Dad, Peter Hall, and my whole family were looked after fantastically well by the Hospice.

“Dorothy House really is a pillar of our local community. It is such a pleasure to do the Bath Rugby Walk today to support two great local charities and I'm sure if my Dad was looking down on me, he'd be saying: ‘Good on you and good on all the walkers’."

In total 417 walkers left Dorothy House at 1pm, walking the eight miles to The Rec where many stayed together to watch the Six Nations match between England and Wales.

Emily Knight, Event Fundraiser at Dorothy House Hospice Care said: “Yet again the 2020 Bath Rugby Walk was an incredible day with teams from Bath, Wiltshire and Somerset taking part.

“We were all humbled to hear the teams’ inspiring reasons for taking part and the moving tributes walkers wrote on their dedication labels in memory of family or friends. Thank you to all who made the event such a fantastic success and we look forward to doing it all again next year.”

Lynne Fernquest, CEO of Bath Rugby Foundation, said: “It was inspirational to join the huge crowds on the walk and hear about many different reasons people signed up to take part.

“The atmosphere was amazing from first thing in the morning, right until the last walker headed home.

“Thank you to everyone who took part. Your efforts will make a huge difference to our two charities and the vital work we do.”

Andy Slade from Holt and organiser of the Holt All Stars Team said: "We always enjoy doing the Bath Rugby Walk in our red berets in tribute to our good friend Steve Rowlands, a local GP from Trowbridge. Steve was cared for by the Dorothy House Hospice at Home team before he died.

“This year we had 18 in our team up from 12 walkers in 2019 and we hope to back again next year. We all think Dorothy House is a great cause as it provides an amazing, free service to the local community, we need to support it to make sure it can continue to give families the care they need during difficult times."

Once again Thrings gave their support to the Bath Rugby Walk as the event’s Lead Sponsor, along with Event Partners Chunk, Bath Ales and Thatchers.

While walkers are still collecting sponsorship for their hard work the walk’s organisers hope to match the £60,000 raised last year. All money will be divided 50/50 between the two charities. 

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