Independent community development charity Devon Communities Together has announced the first community fundraising event under its LOVE Devon campaign and is appealing for people with a passion for Devon to get involved.
Walk for Widecombe will take place on Sunday 16th September and will take the form of a sponsored walk or horse ride into the iconic Dartmoor village, where there will be a host of fun family activities to welcome the walkers, riders and their families. All funds raised by the walkers and riders will go towards the Widecombe-in-the-Moor village hall project, which is aiming to build a brand new village hall to benefit the entire village community and beyond.
Horse riders will be led by former Grand National winner Jimmy Frost and his daughter, LOVE Devon ambassador Bryony Frost, who herself placed 5th in the 2018 Grand National. They will leave from his stables near Holne and enjoy an eight-mile ride across the Moor into the village. Walkers will begin from near the Warren House Inn and go at their own pace on a six-mile walk to Widecombe, with an additional entry point closer to the end for those who wish to take part but don’t feel able to complete the entire course. Walkers, riders and their families will be welcomed into Widecombe with a selection of family friendly activities including live music, pony rides with Bryony and Jimmy Frost, children’s activities, local food and drink stalls and much more.
LOVE Devon is a fundraising brand of community development charity Devon Communities Together, established as a way of getting the public involved in raising money for community projects, causes and services in Devon. Elaine Cook, Chief Executive Devon Communities Together, commented: “This is a huge opportunity for us to show what LOVE Devon is all about by bringing individuals and organisations with a passion for Devon together to raise money for an excellent community cause. We also hope to raise lots more awareness for this exciting new project, which aims to provide a wonderful new community building for everyone to enjoy. So if you want to lend your support to the community of Widecombe we’d encourage you to dig out your walking or riding boots and join us! There are also plenty of sponsorship opportunities available for this event and the wider LOVE Devon campaign, so I’d encourage any Devon business which wants to give something back to contact us for more information.”
Widecombe’s current community building is the National Trust-owned Church House which although picturesque and much-loved, is not accessible, has limited parking and is difficult to keep warm. That’s why in the last year, a group of enthusiastic community members have come together to begin the process of developing a new hall.
Devon Communities Together has been supporting the Widecombe Village Hall Committee with moving the project forward, advising on the entire process from applying for funding opportunities to creating feasibility studies and potential building designs.
Yvette Elliott of the Widecombe Village Hall Committee explains: “Right from the start we knew that if we were to start developing plans for a new community building, the impetus and the decisions must be community-driven. We needed the community to confirm to us there is a need for a new facility and tell us what they would want from it.
With the support of Devon Communities Together the team has been engaging with the community via surveys and studies, which have indeed indicated a real appetite for a new building and the committee has recently won funding to work with architects on the potential new site selection and building design.
“There’s a real hunger and excitement for this,” added Yvette. “We’ve got so many ideas on the table for youth groups, fitness clubs, a separate meeting room we can hire out, a new pre-school space, health surgeries – we want the whole community to have their say and benefit from it. That’s why it’s so exciting to have the support of this LOVE Devon Walk for Widecombe event. It’s an opportunity for the wider community to come together, enjoy a fun day out and support our local cause. We can’t wait!”
Find out more
For more information on the Walk for Widecombe event and to register to take part, email email@example.com or call 01392 248919.