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      Crescendo walks for charity in place of a Christmas party

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      It’s the time of year when weary HR managers look ahead to the Christmas meal/party/drinks and thinking ‘next year we really should try and do something different’. The team at events company Crescendo had that same thought a few months back and decided on something very different – no lavish Christmas meal, no drinks, no party; instead they walked more than 70 miles and raise money for cash.

      A family known to the company has a little girl called Isla, who is three years old and currently dealing with leukaemia. It is absorbing all the family’s energy and emotion and having a huge impact on their finances. So the team decided on a walk to raise some money to help make their lives a bit easier.

      And so the ‘Isle for Isla’ was born. Event Manager Francesca Brennan-Gott from the operational delivery arm of Crescendo, Fruitful Events, planned a three-day walk around the coastal path of the Isle of Wight with military precision.

      On Friday, 14 October, six walkers crossed on the ferry from Portsmouth and immediately started walking west from Ryde. The coastal path circumnavigates the island and passes through all manner of terrain from housing estates to open moorland, slippery cliff-top paths and beaches. The team walked 27 miles the first day and after an icy dip in the sea to calm throbbing legs and feet returned to the base house for food and sleep. Days two and three followed the same pattern, with stops only to refuel and change footwear and clothing. The walkers were treated to beautiful views with glorious sunshine but also driving rain, wind and sleet. Two of the team’s husbands kept up a regular supply of sandwiches and treats at agreed stopping points around the route.

      After 76 miles, at 7pm on Sunday evening a weary and blistered but ultimately triumphal six arrived back where they started – Ryde Pier – to raise a tired arm with a glass of champagne.

      The team all agreed that spending the money that would have gone on a Christmas meal to pay for the ferry and accommodation delivered a fantastic bonding experience. Instead of feeling hung-over and stuffed with rich food they felt fitter, happier and more fulfilled. And the point of the thing was to raise cash for Isla. Many individuals and companies contributed with sponsorship and the whole effort raised more than £5000 for Isla and her family. Now that’s a happy Christmas!

      We were overwhelmed with the support from our clients, partners, family and friends. Crescendo particular thanks Keith Gott, Scott 2 Go, Great Escapes, Hawtrey Dene, Talent Pool, Brennan Landscapes, Universal Automation Limited, Extreme Adventure and Table Art.

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      Molly Dyson

      Former Editor – PA Life

      All stories by: Molly Dyson