Bridge the Gap ends with celebrations among benefitting charities.

  • 30 September 2020

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Bridge the Gap’s committee is delighted to announce that this year’s walk, reinvented in response to government guidelines, has proved a great success! Over 1450 supporters reignited their love for the City by taking part in the unique Cambridge walk, between 29 August and 20 September. With funds still coming in, the generous donations and sponsorship received look set to help Arthur Rank Hospice Charity and Romsey Mill reach their target of £20,000.

Bridge the Gap is a highlight in the City’s annual events calendar, and is kindly sponsored by The Cambridge Building Society. Peter Burrows, Chief Executive, added:

Supporting our community is at the heart of what we do and has been for 170 years. We’ve seen first-hand the difference this fundraising event can have on local people, and it’s been really encouraging to see our team members take part in this novel alternative to the annual city walk.”

The event typically starts from Parker’s Piece, welcoming around 1400 pre-registered participants and a further 600 on the day.  Rather than offering special access to College gardens and behind-the-scenes glimpses into other famous venues, 2020’s walk was adapted to enable participants to enjoy a self-guided walk at their own leisure, observing social distancing rules. The route and accompanying information and quiz were developed with the support of Melody Brooker, fundraiser for Romsey Mill and Director of Live the City Ltd.

One family who have taken part in the walk every year, since the event began in 2001, commented:

As a family we wanted to thank you for managing to run the walk again. […] The clues were great fun and we discovered so much more than we already knew about Cambridge. If you need to run the walk in the same format next year, we would be delighted to take part.’ 

 Another participant said they had had: “a lovely experience. The information sent online and through the post was really good and very easy to follow. We thoroughly enjoyed the day and the excitement of finding the clues and visiting a number of places we had not explored before.”

2020 has been a year of learning in every walk of our lives and this event has been no different for the committee. The committee, required to revisit every element of Bridge the Gap, are delighted to hear that those who have taken part have thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The feedback has been so encouraging that discussions are now underway to create a hybrid of our more traditional Bridge the Gap Walk, whilst also retaining some of the components that people really liked this year.

Neil Perry, Chief Executive of Romsey Mill said:

“One of the fundamental aspects of Bridge the Gap, is the way that it brings together people and organisations from all aspects of Cambridge life to deliver such a unique event. That partnership has been just as evident in 2020, as it has been in any other year; even more so because of the circumstances. The support of all the sponsors and event partners, has been amazing, including: Cambridge 105 Radio for their help with producing the special podcast; Live the City for sharing their expertise for the self-guided walk and packs; and, of course, every single person who paid to take part in the walk or made a donation to support the work of the two charities.  Your contribution has been invaluable. Thank you.”

The Bridge the Gap Committee includes the benefitting charities, The Cambridge Building Society, The Rotary Club of Cambridge, Cambridge 105 Radio and Co-operative Food all,  of whom would like to thank everyone who helped to make 2020 the success it has been.

Sharon Allen OBE, Chief Executive of Arthur Rank Hospice Charity, adds:

In these difficult times we would also like to extend our appreciation to the many people who would have typically been involved in Bridge the Gap but for a host of reasons were unable to do so this year, this include our 100 strong team of volunteers, The Society of Cambridge Tourist Guide, the many vendors such as Caffe Mobile, The Tin Kitchen, Cuppa JoJo and Nanna Mexico which would usually be found on Parker’s Piece or along the route. We truly hope that we will be able to welcome you all back in 2021.”

In a normal year, Bridge the Gap would raise in the region of £40,000 for the two charities, and whilst this target was reduced to recognise the challenging situation, the community have rallied around and every pound raised will help to fund vital services provided by Romsey Mill and Arthur Rank Hospice Charity.

To share in the special moments experienced by our walkers and to view the latest total, please visit Donations can still be made in support of both Charities on the Arthur Rank Hospice site!/  A formal thank you celebration is being planned for once the final total is known and details of this will be shared with partners and participants in due course.