How do you make the most of one of the last days of freedom before the return to school or college? For ten young people from several churches in Chippenham, Wiltshire, the answer was a three-legged fundraising walk for SAT-7 which has its UK office in the town.
Katie Heaton (age 16), whose idea it was, explained: “I decided on the idea of a three-legged walk because it was more entertaining, eccentric, involved team-work, and differed from the usual walks, runs and cycles that sponsored events often involve.
“The aim was also to inspire other young people and groups with a fun activity they could participate in, whilst catching the attention of passers-by who were especially intrigued by a cluster of laughing, stumbling teenagers as we attempted to skip and run three-legged!”
Booted up and feet tied, the band of 11- to 19-year-old volunteers hobbled a five-mile round route taking every obstacle in their wobbly stride.
“There was much laughter, wild singing, skipping, playful banter, and competition to walk fastest between the pairs. And no one was injured climbing over stiles (thanks to many prayers!), which was a bonus,” Katie enthused.
“The hardest part was probably crawling under a low fence whilst being tied to another person and trying to dodge the cow pats. Competing for first place was also quite a challenge, especially along a narrow path lined with stinging nettles on one side and a canal on the other!”
Instead of strange looks, other walkers and canal workers were keen to learn the reason behind the walk, and even dip into their pockets, Katie said.
“For me, the best parts were seeing the public reaction and talking with passers-by about what we were doing and the reason behind the event. I was very pleasantly surprised to find out how many people were eager to support our efforts, with a few donations being made on the spot. Overall, I am encouraged and uplifted by the positive responses and conversations that took place.”
So far the team have passed their target of raising £250. They also exceeded their expectations of the day in other ways: “I definitely learnt the value of independence and freedom from this walk,” Katie said. “Being tied to someone for an hour is not very practical! But I also appreciate more deeply the effect of teamwork, resilience and joy.”
Miles for SAT-7
The three-legged expedition was all part of Miles for SAT-7. SAT-7 Supporter Care Officer, Ceri Passmore, explained that this is a challenge to celebrate 25 years of SAT-7’s broadcasting and to raise more funds to help the ministry continue to share joy and hope across the Middle East and North Africa through Christian programming.
“It’s only thanks to our amazing supporters that we have been able to serve our viewers in this way over all these years and see so many lives changed,” Ceri said. “And many of our viewers need us now more than ever.
“We have a raft of activity ideas around the number 25 for supporters to get involved in. But like the Chippenham young people we’re happy for it to inspire ideas of your own!”
Give it a go
Katie, who lived in Mozambique until she was 11, said, “I appreciate the work SAT-7 does and the hope that it brings to situations in the Middle East that most organisations aren’t able to reach.”
“To any other groups interested in doing an event similar to this, I would definitely encourage them to give it a go and organise something that excites and inspires them and that they have lots of fun doing it.”
Miles for SAT-7 is an activity for young and old! Read on to see how you can take part or inspire others to take part and sponsor them!