Celebrating 15 years of the Pendle Pub Walk

By Pendleside Hospice

06 Feb 2024

Pendle Pub Walk 2023 - Photo by Jon Thompson.jpg.jpg

In 2009, the Rotary Club of Burnley Pendleside kicked off the Pendle Pub Walk – a 10-mile hike through Burnley and Pendle's countryside.

Fast forward to 2024, and this annual event is celebrating its 15th year, having raised more than £825,000 for charity throughout the years. Not bad for a walk that started with 40 participants and £1,500 raised in sponsorship.

Grahame Trudgill, a member of the Rotary Club of Burnley Pendleside and a keen walker, took inspiration from Lancashire's 20 Miles 20 Pubs walk, also known as LUMPS. The Pendle Pub Walk, initially named 10 Miles 10 Pubs expanded as more local establishments joined the cause, creating a unique celebration of community and charity.

In the early days, the Rotary Club teamed up with local brewery, Moorhouse, to brew special beers for the event. Walkers even got a shot at naming the beers, resulting in quirky titles like Witch Way Now and Spellbinder. The local touch added flavour to the experience.

Come 2012, the walk accommodated over 700 participants, prompting the Rotary Club to bring in Pendleside Hospice as the Pendle Pub Walk partner. Pubs on the route started serving food, and the now-famous coloured t-shirts made their debut, becoming collector's items for many loyal walkers.

Pendleside Hospice were one of the first chosen charities when the Pendle Pub Walk began, and now all proceeds from the event go to funding patient care at the Hospice, as well as providing support for the Rotary Club of Burnley Pendleside’s own chosen charities.

Grahame Trudgill opened up about his personal connection to Pendleside Hospice, saying, "It was only a couple of weeks ago that my brother-in-law died in the Hospice. He was so well taken care of, and we were thankful that he received the best care during his final days.

"A few years back, my nephew, who was only 40 at the time, also died in the Hospice, as did Rotarian and Pendle Pub Walk supporter, Brian Doney. Everyone is somehow linked to the Hospice, and it’s a charity very close to all of our hearts at the Rotary Club.”

The Rotary Club of Burnley Pendleside channels 20 per cent of its funds from the Pendle Pub Walk internationally, to causes like Water Aid and ShelterBox, while the remaining 80 per cent stays local. This goes to various charities and initiatives, making a tangible impact in the community.

Rotarian Grahame Trudgill shared, "Our aim is to support local charities and organisations the best we can - our motto which we have upheld for over 40 years is ‘service before self’."

From Christmas hampers for disadvantaged children to funding repairs for local churches, and funding a defibrillator in a local Burnley village to organising activity days for young carers in the area, the Rotary Club has left its mark. The Pendle Pub Walk, as one of their biggest fundraisers, plays a crucial role in supporting those in the Burnley and Pendle community.

Sammi Graham, head of events at Pendleside Hospice, emphasised the impact of community support: "Without the generosity and backing of our community, we wouldn't be able to provide the support we do at Pendleside. I've been working at the Hospice for almost 10 years and I'm blown away by how much money is raised from registration and sponsorship each year. The growth of the Pendle Pub Walk has been remarkable to watch, and it has been an honour to develop and expand upon Grahame's original concept.

"The Hospice receives 22 per cent in statutory funding from the NHS and as a result, Pendleside needs to raise over £4.7m through fundraising and other means. The money raised from this event helps those living with life-limiting illnesses, as well as provide support to their carers and families.

"Last year, the Pendle Pub Walk raised a staggering £125,259.82 - the most amount raised to date! I’m getting stuck into the planning for our 2024 event and I’m excited to see what this year brings.”

Over the years, the event has grown into a community fixture. With a record-breaking 2,700+ walkers in 2023, the Pendle Pub Walk has become a must on many calendars. The buzz around its annual launch remains strong, showing the event has struck a chord with the community.

Registration for the Pendle Pub Walk for 2024 is now live, offering an early bird deal for those registering before April 2nd. It's a chance to enjoy the countryside, hang out with friends, and contribute to a good cause. So, put on your walking shoes and be a part of something meaningful. Long-standing supporters, The Pendle Inn and the Thatch & Thistle are the two starting check-points at this year’s event. www.pendleside.org.uk/pendle-pub-walk-2024

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