Teamwork, determination and sheer hard work led to an amazing achievement for two teams of staff from The Abbey who completed the 20th London Moonwalk Challenge on the weekend of 13/14 May 2017. 

The Moonwalk takes place overnight and participants walk a marathon to raise money for the fight against breast cancer. Our committed walkers decided to take on the event as their ‘130 Challenge’ in celebration of the 130th anniversary of The Abbey and all had different reasons for choosing it. What united them was a determination to take on a personal challenge far outside their comfort zones and see it through.

Mrs Chaplin was a member of “The A Team” and she gives us an insight into the preparation that took place before the event itself:

“Our first training walk as a team took place in June last year, and we all tried to get some individual walks in as often as we could, too. It was important to walk together so we could find out what speed we could walk at as a group and to become a team capable of supporting one another.

“We trained fairly regularly, building up to our longest practice walk of 21 miles. Once we’d achieved that we felt confident that we’d be able to manage the extra miles to complete the full walk. Undoubtedly the highlight of the whole training programme was bumping into a certain Mr Clooney while on a practice walk over the Easter holiday!

“As it was the 20th Moonwalk the theme for our decorated bras was “the roaring twenties” and everyone had wildly different and fun interpretations as they personalised their bras.

“On the evening of the walk itself we set off at 10.30pm after a big countdown. It’s certainly true that London never sleeps and the first part of the walk took in all the big sights – the London Eye looked amazing and we crossed Chelsea Bridge all lit up. The Tate Modern had a “Moonwalk” light show. The second half was harder. There were fewer landmarks and the queue for the loos in Hyde Park was excruciatingly long! After that we were on a very long, boring stretch of the Bayswater Road, then at about 4:30am it started to rain. We really had to dig deep and support one another.

“The feeling of crossing the line was one of real emotion - you can see from the pictures that we are exhausted but very proud to have achieved what we set out to do. We’ve raised more than £4000 in our team and I know that the other Abbey team has also done really well for the cause, too.

“For anyone planning their 130 challenge my advice is to choose something that is really outside your comfort zone – something you’d never normally do or a once in a lifetime activity. That way you’ll really have a sense of achievement and personal satisfaction.”

Congratulations to all our moonwalkers. The second team from The Abbey has raised at least £800 already with more to come.

Staff that took part are:

The A Team: Mrs Chaplin, Mrs Harley, Mrs Millward, Mrs Kershaw, Mrs Adams, Mrs Cox and Ms Long

The Dream Team: Mrs Canniffe, Miss Brooks, Mrs Nassau-Lake, Mrs Hindley

Also taking part was Ms Bilkey from the music department.