Thursday, June 07, 2007

Good Behaviour (part 1)


My friend, colleague and local resident Sue has just come back from Scotland having raised money for the Unison 'Bucket and Spade appeal'. Which raises money for hard pushed families to go on holiday. It's one of those interesting things that while most of us are able to go on more and more holidays and short breaks etc. the % of people who have no holiday has barely changed over the last 30 years, obviously some of those are people who just don't like holidays! But a good few are those people at the bottom of the income pile, who haven't benefited from the last 15 years of growth in the economy, and/or are people whose family circumstances are such that they can't go on holiday. Perhaps they have carer responsibilities etc. and it is those people that the appeal is designed to help. Unions often come in for a load of stick in the media, some of it perhaps even justified, so all the good things that they do sometimes get overlooked, and as a lot of Unison members are low paid this is a good example of one of those good things.

Sue has kindly sent me a little journal of her trip which I have reproduced below. I am not writing this to ask for money for the appeal as this is a Plumstead blog and not a charity blog, but I do think it's nice once in a while to find out a bit about the good things that local people do for others, so well done to Sue. Got a bit of an update, Sue has raised over £1000 for the appeal over the last 2 years, which when you take into account the fact that the average holiday arranged costs a bit over £400, then 2 families have Sue to thank for their holiday! Oh and by the way, Sue pays all her own expenses for the trip, as do all the people raising money for the appeal so all the money raised goes to people who would benefit from a break.

Unison Charity Walk for the Bucket and Spade Appeal

Thanks everyone for contributions to the Unison Bucket and Spade Appeal. So far in four years they have raised about £250,000.

Can’t say how much I enjoyed the walk – it was great and I loved every minute. The group were fun, interesting and easy to get along with. The two who arranged must have worked very hard as if ran smoothly although we were moving about, catching ferries and driving to the next hostel. The support team – van and bus drivers were fun and hard working.

The first day we walked through Forestry Commission land around Loch Shiel near Glenfinnan for 16 miles in about 5 hours excluding the 20 minutes to eat lunch – we might have taken a bit longer but the midges started to bite some of the walkers.

We then drove to Mallaig to catch the ferry to Armdale on the Isle of Skye and then drive to Uig Youth Hostel.

On the Friday we walk 11 miles and the first thing you notice about Skye is there are no trees as it is so windy. There are plenty of small wild flowers on the moors. That evening we catch the ferry stay on the Uists – North Uist, Benbecula and South Uist -where we stay in a hotel. This hotel has the strangest menu due, we believed to the fact that they grow very little on the island and everything is shipped in. The soil is so sandy that the crops that do grow there are very specialised.

Saturday and Sunday we walk on Uists and sometimes have to drive across the sand at low tide to get to the islands. Two different walks on both days each walk of about 5 miles or more. These walks cover wind swept beaches, moor lands and cliffs.

A six o’clock start is not welcome but we had to catch the early ferry to Oban – a 6 hour crossing. After lunch a walk of about 5 miles around the Black Lochs.

Up early again on Monday for the ferry to Mull. After dropping off our bags it’s off to Garmony for the start of the walk which will take us to Tobermory (aka Ballamory). The first half of the walk is through the most beautiful woods – tall pine trees and thick, thick mosses like huge green cushions. We detour into the woods to see the remains of an old settlement dated approximately 1760. The walls of the buildings have collapsed and covered in the think mosses. We walked on to Tobermory with the painted houses, on through the town and up over windswept cliff tops. A hard climb up and then back down into the town. Back to the hostel to pack for the next day, a quick wash and off to our last meal.

Wednesday we are up early to get to the airport to catch flights home.

1 Comments:

At 10:29 am, Blogger sibonetic said...

Si

 

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