The Big Push - A 'Thank You'

The Big Push is complete

With the Big Push challenge now complete and the fundraising target met, the team would like to thank everyone who supported them with an open letter.

The Big Push fundraising challenge has been and gone and, and we are writing to update you on an unforgettable weekend of highs and lows.  By the time the team got to the start line, we were all a little emotional. 

The first few laps were tough.  The wind was howling, the rain was coming down and we were all nervous. On lap three Torri had a fall, but she dusted herself off and got straight back on the bike. 

And they're off! The Big Push Challenge begins
And they're off!
And they're off! The Big Push Challenge begins

Thankfully, as evening set in, the winds started to die down, giving us more of an opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Clumber Park and settle into our rhythm ready for the night time stints.  Each pair had one long stint of 3 hours.  The first pair to ride the long stint were Kate and Sara, who set off at 9pm. 

For the next two hours it rained, but the team did not let that bring their spirits down. Every time we came over the start line, we were cheered by our overnight support team.  In total, we had 45 incredible volunteers. On the hand over Torri and Claire set off for their three hour stint at midnight, we had made it half way!

The Big Push team during their challenge
The Big Push team in training
The Big Push team during their challenge

It is safe to say that the early hours of the morning were hard for everyone, but by sunrise there was a real change to the weather.  We saw the sun for the first time during the weekend and the winds were much calmer.  We felt like we were on the home stretch.  By 11.30 it was time for the 49th and final lap of the lake.  

After 24 hours of cycling we came around the last bend to cross the line to cheers, accompanied by the news that we had raised £20,066.  We had completed our challenge and raised our fundraising target towards the betterment of the bridge. 

The Big Push team successfully raised over £20,000 towards the restoration of the Ornamental Bridge
The Big Push team
The Big Push team successfully raised over £20,000 towards the restoration of the Ornamental Bridge

What really stood out over the weekend were people’s vivid memories of Clumber Park and their passion for this special place.

It is the reason the 4 of us took part in this challenge, to help bring people together, to support, share stories and an opportunity to be part of the journey, so that in another 250 years the bridge is about more than just the physical restoration - it becomes about the people who helped build it, who continue to care for it, for those whose memories we curate and protect so that more can be made in the future, for the spirit which makes Clumber Park so popular for so many people.

The restoration work will begin on the bridge in the summer with work due for completion by the end of the year.  The Ornamental Bridge is one of many projects that sit within Clumber Park Revitalised.  Over the next 10 years we are working to enrich and restore the landscape of Clumber Park; protecting precious wildlife habitats, whilst encouraging our visitors to explore and connect to their natural surroundings. 

The Ornamental Bridge at Clumber Park
Clumber Park bridge
The Ornamental Bridge at Clumber Park

Our vision is to reveal a Clumber Park where magical stories bring the past to life, for future generations to enjoy.  If you would like to follow the story of this work you can keep up to date here:  https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/clumber-park/features/clumber-park-revitalised.

As we write our total stands at an amazing £21,466.  Your support has been invaluable in making this happen.  You were all an integral part of the team, and we could not have done it without you.

Thank you so much.
 

Kate Stark, Sara Gacem, Torri Crapper & Claire Sarris