An annual fundraising walk in aid of a Cambridgeshire-based cancer charity has been cancelled this year – but organisers are calling for people to take part from their local area.

A total of 270 people took part in last year's gruelling three-day Dorset trek in aid of Cambs-based cancer charity The Malcolm Whales Foundation. Picture: SUPPLIEDA total of 270 people took part in last year's gruelling three-day Dorset trek in aid of Cambs-based cancer charity The Malcolm Whales Foundation. Picture: SUPPLIED

The Malcolm Whales Foundation has held ‘The Dorset Walk’ from Weymouth seafront to Studland - a distance of 40 miles - each year since 2009.

Dozens of schoolchildren from Cambridgeshire usually take part; having raised more than £200,000 over the past decade.

However, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the charity is asking people to walk 40 miles in routes beginning and ending from their homes between July 10 and 12 2020.

Founder Damien Whales said: “Our goal remains unchanged: to support cancer related causes and to provide positive experiences.

Pictured is Damien Whales and Ethan. A total of 270 people took part in last year's gruelling three-day Dorset trek in aid of Cambs-based cancer charity The Malcolm Whales Foundation. Picture: SuppliedPictured is Damien Whales and Ethan. A total of 270 people took part in last year's gruelling three-day Dorset trek in aid of Cambs-based cancer charity The Malcolm Whales Foundation. Picture: Supplied

“For the NHS, there has been increased pressure and challenge on its services and in effect, they now need us more than ever and for us it is an obligation to help.”

Family, friends and colleagues can all get involved but must follow government guidelines to remain safe and donate just £1 per mile per person (or per household).

Damien continued: “In Dorset, we would have had a record 400 participants this year, but it would be a massive boost to the charity to see that number surpassed in this one-off event.

“Social distancing and safety will be paramount but so is being able to assist those that need our help.

“Our hope is that the ‘Non-Dorset Walk’ will raise in excess of the £50,000 that we were expecting our walkers to raise in July.

“The lockdown period has allowed only one form of exercise per day and many people have chosen to walk.

“Now everyone can do something for the good of those suffering from cancer across the country.”

The charity was set up by Damien in memory of his late father, Malcolm, who died after a battle with bowel cancer in 2008.

Over the years they have supported a number of causes - most recently creating ‘The Malcolm Whales Garden’ in the Woodlands Centre at Hinchingbrooke Hospital.

Sign up to participate at: https://tmwf.co.uk/events/dorset-walk/non-dorset-walk/