The team from Tanager Wealth get their boots on for a good walk for a good cause
It was Alex Eichhorn, Tanager Wealth partner and the firm’s self-appointed ‘social intraprenuer’ who came up with the idea. “You know the Bryson Line from Bill Bryson’s recent book, The Road to Little Dribbling – the 569-mile one from Cape Wrath in Scotland to Bognor Regis on the south coast? We should walk it to raise money for charities that benefit life in the UK.”
Like the famous author, the team at Tanager love living here in Britain too. Walking the length of Britain to raise funds for charity, they decided, would be a great way to give something back to their adopted home.
But the obstacles were daunting. To begin with, the Bryson Line was a straight line drawn with a ruler through the length of Britain. If they followed Bryson’s line exactly they would be fording rivers, climbing through back gardens and scaling factory walls. And what would Bill Bryson make of their plan?
As it turned out they devised a route that will take the team on some of the most iconic paths and byways in Britain while keeping faith with the spirit and distance of Bill Bryson’s original line. Their challenge is to cover 569 miles in 30 days, an average of 19 miles a day.
Starting at Cape Wrath their route will take in John O’Groats, the Great Glen Way, the West Highland Way, St Wilfrid’s Way, Hadrian’s Wall, the Pennine Way, the Dales High Way, the Lancaster Canal, the Heart of England Way and the Stratford Canal, Shakespeare’s Way, the Thames Path and various footpaths and trails from Reading to their finish at Bognor Pier.
As for Bill Bryson, he was encouraging and supportive right from the start telling them, “I think it’s wonderful what you are doing and I am happy and proud for you to use my name and to use the Bryson Line as your inspiration if it helps raise funds for all these worthy causes.” They are particularly inspired by the fact that he will be walking with them for part of the challenge.
But the most important decision was still ahead. With so many worthy charities to support, how would they decide?
Once again the breakthrough came when they realized that four of the charities they are supporting have had a profound impact on the lives of Tanager partners and friends. In the case of Kate Hedges, Tanager’s partner for marketing communications, the Royal Brompton Hospital in London treated her for lung cancer and a year later she was well enough to run a marathon. According to Kate, “the ultimate nationality test for anyone holding two passports is a life-threatening diagnosis. I am so grateful for the treatment I received here in the UK, walking 569 miles to say ‘thank you’ seems the least I could do.” And they’re just as passionate about the other four charities they are supporting: Bloodwise, the Campaign to Protect Rural England, Great Ormond Street Hospital and Papworth Hospital. That’s why they have set their goal at £100,000: they want a stretching target that will be a real challenge. Given the interest, momentum and early fund raising success, they think they can achieve and even exceed their goal.
And they see a great opportunity here for every American living in the UK to help them make a difference by contributing to their causes and help them give back to this wonderful country.
For more info on how you can get involved email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website www.thebrysonline.com. Follow them on Twitter @thebrysonline and Facebook page www.facebook.com/thebrysonline
Some of the charities Walk The Bryson line will support: