Final push for Cardgains charity challenge sponsors

Ultimate Ullswater walkers set out on Thursday – with special #ForNat request


With the Ultimate Ullswater Cardgains Challenge happening this Thursday, 30 June, there’s a final push to help the buying group meet its £22,000 charity target – and a special request from Abacus Cards.

The publisher’s national sales manager Nathan Hitchcock had been due to take part in the 22-mile walk around the gorgeous lake in Cumbria, in aid of the Alzheimer’s Society but, following his unexpected death aged just 48 three weeks ago, his place has been taken by his friend and Abacus colleague territory sales manager Darren Thomas.

Above: Cardgains hope to raise £22,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society
Above: Cardgains hope to raise £22,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society

“Nathan was looking forward to doing the sponsored walk,” Darren said, “and, with our managing director’s blessing, I will be taking his place – it would be greatly appreciated if you would sponsor me to do this in his honour and memory.”

Sponsorship is via the Cardgains JustGiving link and Darren added: “If you’d like to sponsor me for this great cause, then please put in your comments #ForNat and any personal message if you would like.”

Abacus’ managing director Nick Carey, who was working alongside Nathan and Darren at PG Live just a few days before his colleague’s death, said: “We do appreciate you all do loads for charity, in this case it’s for Alzheimer’s Society, so even the very smallest donation will be thanked for in effort and sweat of our Darren Thomas, but we totally understand if you can’t this time.”

Above: Nathan had been training in Wales for the big walk
Above: Nathan had been training in Wales for the big walk

Darren will be among around 40 members of the greeting card community who are taking part on Thursday, along with retailer Miles Robinson, co-owner of the House Of Cards group, who has set himself a personal target of raising £2,000 so would also appreciate any sponsorship, with his name mentioned so the donation can be identified.

Above: Retailer Miles Robinson is among this year’s 40 walkers
Above: Retailer Miles Robinson is among this year’s 40 walkers

The Ullswater Way takes in the whole of the lake nestled on the eastern fringes of the Lake District National Park, adjacent to the tranquil Eden Valley, surrounded by gently rolling countryside at the northern end around Pooley Bridge while, in the south, the lakeshore gives way to sheer fell sides that drop away into the water below, culminating in the majesty of England’s third highest mountain, Helvellyn.

Having had to cancel both the 2020 and 2021 events due to the pandemic, Cardgains’ marketing director Penny Shaw is getting her own walking boots scrubbed up ready for action and explained: “There are nearly 40 hardy souls taking part, some joining us for the first time, and we’ve set a huge target of £22,000 to raise for the charity.

“We have carried across our charity of the year from 2020 and will continue to support Alzheimer’s Society – it’s the UK’s leading dementia charity who campaign for change, fund research to find a cure and support people living with dementia today. Dementia is the UK’s biggest killer. Someone develops it every three minutes and there’s currently no cure.”

Above: Cardgains’ previous events have raised £350,000
Above: Cardgains’ previous events have raised £350,000

Each year Cardgains chooses a different charity to support and, since the first event in 1998. suppliers, members and staff have raised around £350,000 through various events including golf days, bike rides, raffles and major walking challenges such as The Three Dams, The Lyke Wake Walk, The Yorkshire Three Peaks, Ben Nevis, the Windy Wander around Lake Windermere, Withering Thighs 25-mile walk around Bronte country, the Seaside Shuffle from Whitby to Scarborough, Kumbaya Cumbria’s 27.5 miles in the Lake District, and 2019’s 30-mile Amscliffe Anniversary Amble.

Top: Abacus Cards’ Darren Thomas (right) is walking in memory of Nathan Hitchcock

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