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The Actuary The magazine of the Institute & Faculty of Actuaries

Wainwright memorial walk

A group of actuaries led (from the
front) by the master of the Worshipful
Company of Actuaries,
Chris Ide, set out in September
to follow Alfred Wainwright’s footsteps (see
right) and complete the Wainwright memorial
walk. The object was to have an enjoyable walking
holiday and at the same time to raise money
for the company’s charitable trust, to support
three charities in their work with young people:
the Children’s Society, Shelter, and the Scouts
The walk took nine days, covered 115 miles,
took in 55 fells, and involved a total height gain
of 37,688 feet (a good deal more than Everest).
The principal walking groups were chosen
based on their speed: Allegro and Andante. We
were joined on alternate days by two of our
spouses, and at various times by other walkers.
At the weekend in the middle there were over
30 walkers and five groups out on the hills.
Some of us had hard times, such as vertigo on
Blencathra, where the two teams met up to pose with our charities’ symbols on the only blunt
part of a very sharp edge (see front cover). And
we had a 12-hour struggle from Buttermere to
Wasdale Head, arriving at nightfall to a welcoming
and worried party of wives and friends
who had already alerted the mountain rescue
team. Mobile phones don’t work in most of
Lakeland, and it was always interesting to pick
up the previous night’s texts of progress reports
or worried queries, once we reached some major
peak the following day.
We also had many exhilarating times and
fabulous views. Perhaps the most stunning was
the view from Sail out over the Solway Firth to
Scotland, taking in, in the foreground, a wind
farm and an oil rig.
We were joined by friends for many days, and
supported by a brilliant team who arranged
hotels, shifted baggage, and worried for us
when we came in late.
Every one of the core team completed the
whole programme, and, with the advantage of
a few wrong turnings and deviations, succeeded
in covering more than the target number of miles walked and feet climbed. However, senior
members of court who joined us for the weekend
achieved the most spectacular deviation.
Amid the fog after Eel Crag two of the walkers
decided to return to base, and the remainder to
continue. With the benefit of two actuaries, two
GPSs, and an IT specialist, the returning couple
were sent west instead of south, and so unintentionally
continued the planned walk, while
the remainder proceeded north instead of east
in entirely the wrong direction.
The junior warden explained that he realised
afterwards that his GPS was on the American
grid. The clerk emeritus owned up to being
slightly concerned when he saw the GPS screen
indicating that the distance to the next waypoint
was 8,000 miles.
All the walkers are most grateful for the moral
and financial support from our sponsors. We
paid all our own expenses, so every penny of
the sponsorship money received by the charitable
trust goes to our three charities. At the
time of writing, the total raised is over £28,000,
including Gift Aid reclaims.
You can still sponsor us at www.justgiving.com/actuaries.
This tour is a most comprehensive one. Limited
as we are by time, it is impossible to visit every
corner of Lakeland, yet this programme, if
followed conscientiously, will lead us everywhere
worth mentioning.
‘It will be ARDUOUS, but the reward will be
well worth the work. It will avoid the tourists, the
roads, the picnic-spots.
‘It is the claim of this programme that EVERY
lake, EVERY valley, EVERY mountain will be
seen if not actually visited.
A Wainwright, 1931
From The Wainwright Memorial Walk by
A Wainwright, published by Frances Lincoln Ltd.
Copyright The Estate of A Wainwright, 1993.
Reproduced by permission of Frances Lincoln Ltd.
One in every hundred children will wake up tomorrow
in a place they can’t call home. Shelter has a blueprint
to get things moving to tackle this problem.
Money raised will go to the Educational Support
Project in London that will run from 2007 to 2010.
Shelter will:
? liaise with education and housing authorities to
ensure that homeless children access appropriate
school places;
? help parents get their children registered at, and
back into, school sooner;
? support children and parents to deal with issues
such as bullying, truancy and exclusion, and support
learning and build self-esteem.
It is planned that 450 children will benefit from educational
support over three years, and that outcomes
will include increased school attendance and improved
educational achievement for homeless children.
The Children’s Society
The Children’s Society is a national charity committed
to supporting children who have had their childhoods
taken away. A network of 50 community
projects helps over 50,000 children and their families
each year. The Children’s Society works with children
who are forced to run away from home or care,
ensures that disabled children are protected, helps
refugee children rebuild their lives, and supports children
in trouble with the law.
? Every year 100,000 children under 16 in the UK
run away from home or care.
? Many run away because of serious and longstanding
problems within the family home.
? Almost half (44%) of young runaways who stay
away for a week are physically or sexually hurt.
Money raised will support the society’s work in this
The Scouts’ Association
Gilwell Park is the international training and activity
centre for scouts and their leaders. The association
shares these facilities with a wide range of young people
and adult volunteers.
Projects are organised for adventure challenges,
teamwork and leadership, quite often in the context
of a short residential stay. Many children and young
people come from less privileged parts of inner London
boroughs, from minority ethnic communities, and
often come as a result of involvement in other projects
(young offenders, social care, etc).
Money raised will be used to acquire specific equipment
to help expand the work of the scouts in this