Seventeen Society members visited Kendal Mountain Rescue HQ following the Society AGM on 23rd March. In 2012, it had emerged that Alfred Wainwright had been a member of the MRT in the 1950s. Members watched a slide presentation of the work done by the Team and were given a tour of the base. A donation of £200 was presented to the Team Leader, Eddie Harrison at the end of the visit.
When the Wainwright Society was first formed in 2002, the original members had very few thoughts about the Society becoming a fund raising body. With fewer than 400 members in the first 2 years, the Society made small contributions from their funds to local charities. For instance, in 2004 the Society donated £100 to Kapellan (AW’s Animal Rescue Charity) and £100 to the Lake District Tourism and Conservation Board. Small donations continued to be made over the next few years.
However, the introduction of our first ‘Challenge Walk’, in 2005 saw the first beginnings of The Society looking at ways of raising funds for organisations connected with the Society’s aims as well as allowing members to participate in an interesting event. The Society benefited from considerable publicity as a result.
The Great Lakeland Challenge took place in May 2005 and as a result a donation of £570 was made to the Tourism and Conservation Partnership. The Challenge Walk was to become an annual event, with both entry fees and members’ own fundraising through sponsorship making contributions over the next few years to Keswick MRT and Cockermouth MRT of over £2,000 and £1,800 respectively. During this period other member collections were made, for example to replace the window in Buttermere Church, and for Cumbria Animal Rescue at Kapellan.
During 2009 The Society started looking at other ways to raise funds. The 2009 Annual Challenge, 'The 214 Challenge' resulted in £6,500 being shared equally between SARDA (Search and Rescue Dogs Association), England and SARDA, Lakes. The cheque presentation was made by Sir Chris Bonington following a members’ walk with some of the SARDA team members. In addition to that, Society member Andy Beck raised £2,180, on behalf of the Society, for the two SARDA’s with a raffle and sales of a print of his painting of a rescue dog.
Wainwright Society cheque presentation to SARDA by Chris Bonington
The reaction of members to the disastrous floods of November 2009 in Cumbria resulted in a Wainwright Society Flood Appeal being set up within three days. Less than a month later we had collected over £3,400, and by March 2010 it had risen to £4,165. This was followed by a hectic 2 months where we asked Sir Chris Bonington and Doug Scott to give a lecture to raise further funds for the Flood Appeal. The lecture took place in February 2010 and at the Society AGM in March, the Society was able to give a cheque for £6500 to the Mountain Rescue Services, a combination of the Flood Appeal and the Scott/Bonington lecture.
Our final 2009 initiative, started and run entirely by members of The Society, was to produce a Wainwright Calendar, using members’ photographs. Profits from the sale of the calendar, together with matched 2:1 funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, resulted in a total of £11400 being donated to Fix the Fells.
So, 2009 will be a tough year to follow; but this has seen a major development in the Society, from humble donations of £100 or so, to projects which will result in over £20,000 being raised in a year. This is the equivalent to around £30 for every member which demonstrates the commitment we have to the bodies who make our lives in AW’s resting place so hugely enjoyable.
In 2010, the Best of the Rest Challenge raised £2200 (worth £6600 after matched funding) for Fix the Fells. The cheque was presented by Caroline Nichol to Keira Holt at the 80th Anniversary walk to Orrest Head on 7th June 2010.
A ‘blind auction’ of a walking stick believed to have belonged to AW raised £501.50; the proceeds being donated to the Workington Lifeboat.
Sales of the 2011 Wainwright Calendar totalled £8874.59. This sum was made up to £9000 from Society funds. The money raised was donated to the Lake District and Pennine Mountain Rescue Teams. Further details can be found by clicking here
Members of The Wainwright Society presented a cheque of £2000 to representatives of The Lake District Calvert Trust at Grasmere on Saturday 28th May 2011. The money was donated by Society members taking part in the annual Charity Challenge, this year, ‘The 1931 Tour Challenge’. The Lake District Calvert Trust was the Society’s main beneficiary in 2011.
Caroline Nichol presents the cheque to members
The Lake District Calvert Trust photo © John Malley
Sales of The Wainwright Society 2012 calendar raised a total of £10,250 for The Lake District Calvert Trust. A total of £14,000 was raised for the Trust during the year. As well as the Calendar and the Society Challenge, this total included sums of money from the sale of Challenge mugs, donated by a Society member, sales of a Poetry Anthology written by members, donations from a Society walk across Morecambe Bay, sales of Society hats, donations made at the Memorial Lecture and money raised from sales of caricatures of members of the Society Forum drawn by one of our members.
Cheque presentation to The Lake District Calvert Trust at the Society AGM. (L – R) Jenny Whalley (Calendar team), Eric Robson (Chairman of The Wainwright Society), Sean Day (Centre Director of The Lake District Calvert Trust)
photo © Derek Cockell
The Society’s main beneficiary in 2012 was Cumbria Wildlife Trust. In particular, we raised funds for the Uplands for Juniper project. This project surveyed the existing stands of juniper to establish their condition. Following this survey, over 3000 saplings were planted to help expand juniper woodland sites and create new stands, which host over forty species of bugs and insects and are very important in maintaining the rich diversity of the ecology of the Cumbrian fells.
The 60-50-40 Challenge raised a total of £2000 and a cheque was presented to Susan Garnett on behalf of Cumbria Wildlife Trust by Caroline Nichol in Sedbergh on Saturday 26th May
Photograph: Caroline Nichol (left) presents a cheque to Susan Garnett (right)
Sales of the 2013 Society Calendar raised a total of £10,000. A cheque was presented to Michelle Waller, Senior Development Officer for Cumbria Wildlife Trust at the Society AGM in March 2013. The total raised for Cumbrial Wildllife trust in 2012 was £12,000. With 10:1 matched funding from two landfill schemes, this made the donations worth a total of £120,000 for the Uplands for Juniper project.
Michelle Waller (left) receives a cheque from Jenny Whalley (right)
In April 2012, fourteen Society members took part in the Light the Wainwrights charity event to raise money for the family of a police officer who was killed in tragic circumstances. Members donated a total of £200 and the Society gave another £100 to the cause.
Footnote: The Society has introduced a Gift Aid facility, which is being used to increase our charitable donations by 28%.