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Bridge the Gap charity walk in Cambridge to take place with a difference in 2020

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Bridge the Gap will be back with a difference this year.

The traditional annual walk, sponsored by The Cambridge Building Society, usually hosts upwards of 2,000 participants, providing a close-up view of the city including behind the walls of the University of Cambridge colleges and the manicured gardens.

Walkers enjoy the Bridge the Gap walk in 2019. Picture: Keith Heppell
Walkers enjoy the Bridge the Gap walk in 2019. Picture: Keith Heppell

However, the walk is unable to access the colleges this year so a novel alternative has been created.

Bridge the Gap, which the Cambridge Independent is one again supporting as a media partner, will be taking place from Saturday, August 29 to Sunday, September 20, and raising funds for Arthur Rank Hospice Charity and Romsey Mill.

It will give participants the chance to get to know Cambridge’s quirky streets, enchanting corners and historical landmarks on a carefully crafted route that will cover 2.5 miles of the city.

The walk will be self-guided, and can be done in one go or in sections on different days.

Angeline Liles, Arthur Rank Hospice Charity events officer, said: “We’re so delighted to be able to put on Bridge the Gap walk this year, despite all the challenges.

“Participants have a window of three weeks to do the walk, meaning social distancing rules can be maintained and whilst this might mean a different atmosphere to usual, we think it will still provide a memorable summer highlight for households and families. Full guidance will be provided in the registration packs on how to navigate and enjoy our amazing city from a new perspective.”

Cllr Gerri Bird and Cllr Russ McPherson start Bridge the Gap in 2019. Picture: Keith Heppell
Cllr Gerri Bird and Cllr Russ McPherson start Bridge the Gap in 2019. Picture: Keith Heppell

There is a cost of £20 per household, with a proportion of the fee as well as any sponsorship raised by those taking part to be split evenly between the Arthur Rank Hospice Charity and Romsey Mill.

The fee covers a registration pack, which includes a booklet with map detailing the route, two quiz sheets and an answer sheet. The route is wheelchair and pushchair friendly, but participants are reminded that the route will not be marshalled so people will be responsible for their own safety.

The pack is suited to households of one, a family or two adults and two children. In the week prior to the walk commencing, a link to a podcast providing some of the highlights on the route will be sent out.

Neil Thompson, fundraising and communications manager at Romsey Mill, said: “Everyone has been affected in some way by the impact of the cronavirus pandemic. And that is also true for both charity partners involved in Bridge the Gap, who have seen an immediate and significant drop in income.

“Bridge the Gap is such a lifeline for the work that the charities do, helping to fund vital work. We are confident that everyone taking part in our alternative event this year will have fun and enjoy themselves.

Bridge the Gap 2019. Picture: Keith Heppell
Bridge the Gap 2019. Picture: Keith Heppell

“We also know that their participation will help to generate essential funds towards the work of both charities, helping to plug the gap in lost revenues, and ensuring that vital care and support reaches those in our county who need it most.”

Carole Charter, chief commercial officer at The Cambridge Building Society, said: “Supporting our community is at the heart of how The Cambridge operates and now more than ever we are delighted to continue working with these important local charities.

“As headline sponsor for 12 years we know first-hand the difference funds raised from this event makes for people local to us. We are therefore proud to be able to support this new version of the walk and we will once again be encouraging our members and our teams to get involved.”

To register for Bridge the Gap, visit arhc.org.uk/btg.

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Gallery: Bridge the Gap Charity Walk 2019

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