Kings Oxford hike against childhood cancer
Soon after beginning their final year at Kings Oxford, and finding themselves inspired by Cancer Research UK’s Shine Night Walk through Oxford city centre, an enterprising group of A-level students resolved to organise a charity hike of their own.
Basak, Gul, Michelle, Karen & Aurora, most of whom are aspiring medical students, decided that their efforts would be best spent in aid of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and chose to support the wonderful charity Children With Cancer UK. The mission: a 10km hike through the beautiful Oxford countryside on Saturday October 9th, come rain or shine!
Luckily, the weather was on our side when the day rolled around. and an incredible group of 24 Kings students and teachers assembled in glorious sunlight outside our student residence; enthusiastic, packed and prepared for anything. For many, this was their first opportunity to explore beyond Oxford’s built-up city centre, and our organiser’s route did not disappoint. Having escaped the suburbs of East Oxford via Donnington Bridge, our group was delighted to join the River Thames footpath — a picture completed by a smattering of ducks, swans, geese and spluttering, capsized rowers!
Having cut through some picturesque farmland to Abingdon Road, we weaved through Hinksey Park and over the Devil’s Backbone bridge, and eventually through to the historic village of South Hinksey. Students debated the merits of buying a house in a such a place in future, with some claiming it was far too quiet for them to consider an option!
Opinions seemed to change regarding Oxford’s more scenic neighbourhoods as we ascended Hinksey Hill and were rewarded with an expansive view of the city’s ‘dreaming spires’, from the famous vantage point once occupied by the poet Matthew Arnold himself. An unexpected pitstop at a nearby golf club lodge was to follow, with students refilling water bottles, enjoying their packed lunches and enquiring whether golf buggy racing could soon be offered as a school activity. They were mortified to learn that at this time Kings sadly has no plans to do so!
Our route culminated with a final push up to Cumnor Hurst, through the Oxford Brookes sport centre, and down the other side to the main road where we were just in time to catch a bus home after achieving our 10km milestone. Our happy, tired team revelled in their achievement with a triumphant set of Queen’s greatest hits through a bluetooth speaker as we waited for the bus — ‘it’s still hard to believe it’s really happening after all this planning!’ said Aurora, one of the organisers — and underscored with the anthemic ‘We Are the Champions’, the gravity of what we had achieved certainly felt extremely special.
With only background support & guidance from Kings, and just over two weeks lead-time, this group of five had successfully planned and promoted a full 10km hike, and set up a gofundme page which to-date has raised an incredible £1015.00 for a truly remarkable cause!
We hope that this endeavour can stand as a shining example to Kings students across the world, as well as inspiration for our school community to aim even higher in future. Together, we can make a difference!
For those reading now: it is not too late to contribute to our fundraising effort! Please give what you can here and leave a supportive message for our fabulous organisers: