Planning A Sponsored Walk

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					                                       Walk For Odyssey
A Great Social Event
A sponsored walk is a great way to spend time together; you have plenty of time to circulate
and talk to different people and you might plan a get-together at the end of the day as well. It
could be a good way to renew acquaintance with people you were on an Odyssey course
with, or an annual event for a particular group of friends. We want to make it easy for you to
organise a sponsored walk and raise money for Odyssey.

How Far Would You Like to Walk?
Different walks suit different people; it could be at any point along a scale:
          An afternoon stroll of three or four miles with children in tow.
          A twenty mile route in a beautiful area of countryside.
          A walk through or over mountains accompanied by an experienced Odyssey leader.
          A demanding overseas trek requiring many months of preparation.

How Many Walkers?
A sponsored walk could be a solo effort, a small group of friends or a quite large organised
event for dozens, even hundreds of people.

Accompanied Walks
Do you hanker after something wilder? Do you have friends who would like to try something
more challenging but doubt they have the skills or experience to do it safely? Odyssey can
offer walks through or over mountains in different parts of Britain where you can be
accompanied by skilled and qualified staff. Just choose your journey, get a committment from
a certain number of people to raise a minimum amount per head to cover the cost, and we
can agree a date!

For The More Ambitious
Each year Odyssey plans an overseas trek, run in conjunction with expedition specialists
‘Across the Divide’. Have a look at the Trek pages on this website.

                                 Planning A Sponsored Walk

First Thoughts
It is great that you are considering organising a sponsored walk but we want you to find it
enjoyable and satisfying, we don’t want it to develop into a nightmare for you. Whatever the
scale of your plans you will need to answer some straightforward questions right at the start, if
you use this material it will help you to tackle something which is pitched right for you, is fun
as well as challenging and which raises a useful sum for Odyssey. If this all looks a bit
daunting, just go for a smaller scale walk which requires less planning:

      Why are you doing this? Fun? To raise as much money as possible? For a Challenge?
       As a way of getting together?
      How many people would you like to see involved?
      How far do you want to walk?
      What kind of walk will it be? Urban, Parkland, Countryside, Hilly, Mountainous?
      How much organisation are you willing to do? Who might help you?

Second Thoughts
The Answers to These Lead to More Questions:
      When should you start planning?
      How will you recruit people?
      Will you recconnoitre the route?
      Will the route be circular?
      How will people return to their cars?
      Will you have marshals and refreshment stops, or be self contained?

There are three sheets to download to suit different levels of walks:

          Shorter Walks, Easy Terrain
          Medium Length Walks, Open Country
          Longer Walks or Wild Country

Each sheet asks similar questions but each also asks questions which are peculiar to the type
of walk covered. There is also a sheet on ‘Handling the Money’.

Some General Advice to Consider
  Check the date doesn’t clash with other major events which could reduce the number of
  walkers available.

   Consider the effects of possible weather conditions. April to September are the best
   months as the weather should be more clement and hours of daylight are longer.

   Allow adequate time to plan your walk. This will ensure that all necessary arrangements
   can be put in place and will provide a better chance of recruiting the required number of
   walkers and attracting sponsorship.

   Design a route which is mainly off-road and entirely public access (footpaths,
   bridleways etc).

   Depending on the number of walkers involved, and their level of experience, it may be
   necessary to have route marshals.

   If some road walking is necessary, keep it to the minimum and completely avoid busy
   main roads and junctions; roads are likely to be the greatest hazards by far.

   Ensure adequate reconnaissance of the route, both at the design stage and
   immediately before the walk to ensure no developments have occurred which affect the

   When the route is planned, consider contacting the local police and local authority for

   Even though you should keep to public access routes, it is advisable, and courteous, to
   contact the landowners and advise them of the walk.

   The start and finish lines should have plenty of space for people to gather and, if
   walkers are expected to arrive by car, adequate parking. If the route is not a circular
   one, there is a potential problem of walkers being stranded miles from their cars. An
   ideal way to solve this is to secure sponsorship in kind from a local taxi/private hire car
   firm who will transport walkers back to their cars at the end of the day.
   Toilet facilities should be available at the start and finish. Any facilities close to, or on,
   the route, should be pointed out.

   The organisers must be aware of the nearest accident and emergency facilities and
   have appropriate telephone numbers.

   Ensure that all participants understand the need to stick to the route, walking in single
   file when necessary on narrow paths or through crops (including grass crops).
   Particularly in spring and summer, they should take precautions to avoid destroying
   wild flowers or disturbing ground nesting birds.

   Under no circumstances must any litter be left on the route; perhaps a member of the
   team should follow the main group and ensure that nothing has been left behind.

   If walkers are allowed to take dogs with them, they should be under control at all times
   and on a lead when near livestock.

   Any marshals or those manning refreshment points may need to have a list of walkers
   to ensure they have all passed through before packing up.

Further Downloads
Sponsor forms
Justgiving link
Odyssey information sheet
Odyssey information notice
A sample Risk Assessment

If there are questions which you need help to address, contact us at or
call Charles Lyster on 01989 770057 and we will do all we can to support and guide you.

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