Bill Rex, 83, who has been living at Mickle Hill for 3 years, organised a charity walk to raise funds for Children in Need. As part of this he led 10 residents on a 2-mile walk across the countryside and they successfully raised £680 in donations from residents and members of staff at Mickle Hill.
“I first got the idea to organise this walk when I was watching Countryfile on TV one day. There was a segment on this little girl who was disabled – Children in Need were unable to help her this year as they couldn’t organise their fund-raising walks due to Covid-19, so they were encouraging viewers to organise their own. I thought, I should organise one at Mickle Hill.
“I chatted to friends and we advertised the walk in Mickle Hill’s newsletter, which is distributed to all residents, and put collection boxes in the village’s main building.
“Originally, I had a donation target of about £150-£200, but we ended up exceeding this by far – we raised £680! This was so much more than I expected, and I was really pleased. We even had to extend the collection time by a week as more people heard about what we were doing and wanted to donate. Everyone was being so generous, making it a delight to open the envelopes.
“The walk itself was wonderful and we were very lucky to be blessed with fine weather. We walked about 2 miles between Thornton-le-Dale and Ellerburn, which is a beautiful part of Yorkshire. Ellerburn is a nice small village, with only a few houses and a charming ancient Church which was closed several years ago due to colonies of bats in the roof. It’s is now open for services but we’d seen that the teashop was closed at the weekends, so we had called ahead to see how we could have refreshments.
“That’s how we met this lovely couple who live next door, and who invited us for refreshments as soon as they learned what we were doing. They treated us to socially-distanced tea and freshly baked cake in their beautiful garden, and it was so nice in their orchard that we stayed for an hour – almost more time than we’d spent walking! They were lovely and refused to take payment, saying that it was their own contribution to our efforts. I emailed them after we had sent the donations to Children in Need and they were delighted once they learned the total amount that we’d raised.
“I used to walk a lot so it was nice to do it again. The region around Mickle Hill is wonderful to walk in, with a lot of beautiful places and routes. My wife and I actually come from this area originally but we had moved around England for 60 years before we returned 3 years ago. It’s very nice to be back– my wife still has family here, and sometimes we bump into people we went to school with!
“Mickle Hill is a great place to live in, especially this year with the lockdowns that we have had. It’s a residential village, so we are free to walk around the grounds and gardens in complete safety. The staff are brilliant as well: they are happy to help us with anything.
“Before Covid-19 we made the most of the onsite amenities and had joined a lot of activities including the art group, snooker, indoor bowls… We also took part in several quiz nights and coffee mornings, so we really enjoy the community aspect.”