FFC Conquer the Malvern Hills

Foster families and staff from our West Midlands offices conquered the Malvern Hills together on an extended 9 mile walk in the beautiful Autumn fresh air on Tuesday 24th October.

Our intrepid group of trekkers who tackled the massive hike along the length of the Malvern Hills included 6 children, the youngest of whom was just 8 years old, and Tracey, Rachel, Mary, Martin and Granville. The team had planned to meet at Hollybush car park at 10am to start the walk, but some early problems navigating to the meeting point saw the expedition leave a little behind schedule at 10.30am! (Fortunately that was the first and only time anyone got lost all day!) Despite the later than planned start, the group made it up Hollybush and through the woods to the top of the Hills and to the designated lunchtime spot at Blackhill in record time, where our very own culinary wizard Mary Groves was there to meet them with a delicious picnic (which of course included, I like to think, “lashings and lashings of ginger beer”?!) To say the feast was welcomed would be something of an understatement! During the lunchtime stop a couple of other walkers joined the team at this point, and after stashing what was left of the picnic in their rucksacks, the 14 walkers started the second leg of the hike, feeling fully refreshed, full of energy and prepared for all eventualities – well, they had rain coats with them anyway, as sadly rain was forecast, and plasters for blisters (of which a few were administered during the course of the day!)

The view from the top of the hills was beautiful, and as it wasn’t yet too cloudy our hikers were able to see a long way. With plenty of lively conversation and laughs along the way the miles passed quickly, and although Mary was on hand in the car where the route descended at Wyche Cutting to collect any walkers too tired to continue, nobody took her up on the offer and on they all continued.

view from the top

At the highest point of the trek, at the Worcestershire Beacon, the team had climbed up to an impressive 1,395ft elevation. There was lots of encouragement between walkers as they tackled the hill, and the view from the top was a wonderful reward for their efforts and prompted many a ‘summit selfie’!

As our worn out walkers finally came to the bottom of the long slope down from North Hill, it’s fair to say they were all pretty happy to see the taxis waiting at North Quarry car park to take them back to their cars! All that was left to do was a drive back to Hollybush, with a little pitstop at British Camp along the way for Martin to buy everybody a very well-deserved icecream.

Congratulations to all our intrepid crew for completing the walk. It was a massive achievement, especially for the children who did so well encouraging each other throughout the walk and showing such immense stamina and perseverance. Granville’s comment after the walk helped to pinpoint exactly what an amazing achievement it really was, saying:

“I shall be having a very early night tonight....and I guess I may not be the only one ! It is 9 miles and everyone completed it...young and not so young ! What an achievement...and Martin tells me it was in total 22,000 steps and the equivalent of climbing up and down 160 flights of steps....so no wonder we were all tired at the end! Thanks to all who joined us and for your company.”

As a tribute to their hard work each child was given a personalised certificate to congratulate them and remind them of this fantastic achievement.