St Albans cricketing dads raise £23,500 with trek along Britain's oldest road

PUBLISHED: 17:03 30 August 2019 | UPDATED: 17:03 30 August 2019

The Garden Fields Cricket Club on the 150km Ridgeway challenge in aid of The Hospice of St Francis and Rennie Grove Hospice Care. Picture: Submitted by The Hospice of St Francis

The Garden Fields Cricket Club on the 150km Ridgeway challenge in aid of The Hospice of St Francis and Rennie Grove Hospice Care. Picture: Submitted by The Hospice of St Francis

Archant

A group of school dads have raised £23,500 by trekking Britain's oldest road.

The Garden Fields Cricket Club hiked 150km along the Ridgeway in aid of The Hospice of St Francis and Rennie Grove Hospice Care.

Nicknaming themselves Men of Fields, the 19-strong group take on a long charitable walk every two years.

They have raised more than £60,000 over the last six years.

Dad Trevor Merriden, 53, said: "The walk was dedicated to the friends and families of Men of Fields who have been affected by cancer and to those living with cancer.

"It was a gruelling challenge - the hardest we've ever undertaken, but we were determined to complete it as the great work that hospice charities do is very close to all our hearts."

There was sunshine with cloudy intervals as the team trekked between nine and 10 hours a day from West Kennett, in Marlborough, Wiltshire to Ivinghoe Beacon in the Chiltern Hills, Buckinghamshire.

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Men of Fields hope to push past their £25,000 fundraising goal with their efforts.

Trevor added: "One of the best bits at the end was when a waitress in a café on the last day approached us, and told us she already knew about our fundraising because of all the social media activity posted by our team and the hospices - that was great.

"But the real highlight for us personally was the sense of camaraderie we enjoyed walking together such a long way."

He said they took on an extra 18 miles home to enjoy a drink at The Six Bells in St Albans.

Challenge events fundraiser at The Hospice of St Francis, Claire Jones, thanked the team: "We are overwhelmed with what this team has achieved both physically and financially.

"What an incredible achievement for them and what a big difference they have made to The Hospice of St Francis."

Although the group call themselves a cricket club, their fundraising page states: "Some of us are cricketing gentlemen, some proper players and the rest, well let's just call them 'useful chaps'."

Senior community fundraiser at Rennie Grove, Gemma Ralph, said she was "amazed and so impressed".

Donate at uk.virginmoneygiving.com/Team/MenofFields

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