A note from Maggie Blanks, Founder and CEO, Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund

The very first Howard’s Way walk took place in April 2008 to raise funds for the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, and was led by Howard Kerr himself, in defiance of being diagnosed with the disease. He died just four months later. No-one could have known – not Howard, nor his wife Jane and her brother Nick Grecian who’ve organised the walks since – that it would grow into one of the fundraising highlights of the whole events industry calendar.

Since 2008, the Howard’s Way walkers have trekked more than 600 miles in long distance walks over some of the UK’s most beautiful landscapes, raising over £300,000 in honour of Howard and to fundraise for research into the cancer that took his life.

The 2015 walk tomorrow is taking an urban twist. Simon Burton, a friend of Nick and Jane’s, suggested that a less rural setting would allow even more people to join the walk.  As an events PR, Simon also agreed with Arsenal FC – a client of his, whose own events team had lost a colleague to pancreatic cancer – to host walkers after their 10 mile walk through London, with the Emirates Stadium providing the final destination. The idea evolved and soon local rivals Chelsea FC agreed to host the start of the inaugural urban Howard’s Way walk, with staff from both clubs taking part too.

By chance, Chelsea’s participation is also entirely fitting and poignant for me personally. My husband Alan, whose death from pancreatic cancer in 2003 is the reason I set up the Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund, was a huge Chelsea fan all his life. A season ticket holder, he went to matches religiously, travelling far afield to watch their highs and lows. And forever the romantic, he took me to my first ever football match at Stamford Bridge as part of our courtship. I still have the programme.

I don’t remember much about that match, other than the humorous comments from the crowd and the almost deafening swells of noise from around the stadium, but I felt the intensity of camaraderie among the teams’ supporters – strangers are like family for that 90 minutes – and even just seeing someone wear your team’s scarf outside the stadium creates a connection. This automatic connection, when investing time, energy and a great deal of emotion for a common cause resonates with me. I see it at PCRF events when our supporters immediately bond with each other, though strangers, because they share a common loss of a loved one to pancreatic cancer.

I’m hugely grateful to both Arsenal and Chelsea FC for their support with this 2015 event. The money raised will go to fund exciting research projects carried out by truly dedicated researchers who want to find and develop new treatments as much as we do.  Although I’ve observed Chelsea’s ups and downs over the years, Friday will be the first time I’ve been back to Stamford Bridge since Alan died. I won’t be able to join in the walk as I’ve got a typical footballers’ injury myself – a strained Achilles tendon caused by training too hard for a 10k event, but I will be there to  cheer everyone on – and  even louder than I did at my first football match!

 

Join the conversations!

@Howardsway_walk @ArsenalEvents @StamfordBridge 

Event industry charity hike to hit London in June

Howard’s Way Walk, the event industry charity hike, has challenged event professionals to take to London’s streets for a 10 mile walk for pancreatic cancer charities. 
 
The walk on Friday, 12 June will see 200 event professionals trekking the 10 miles from the home of Chelsea Football Club to the home of Arsenal Football Club through two of London’s most famous parks, Hyde Park and Regent’s Park.
Howard’s Way Walk was created in memory of event professional Howard Kerr after he lost his battle with pancreatic cancer. This year’s walk takes on a new poignancy after the passing of Jim Harding, head of premium sales and hospitality at Arsenal Football Club, from the same disease. 
 
Nick Grecian, MD of Gallowglass and brother-in-law of Howard Kerr, said: “Each year 9,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Of those, only 3 per cent survive five years. It has the lowest survival rate of all cancers. Most only last a few months.
 
“I am so proud of what we have done so far with Howard’s Way Walk to address earlier diagnosis and I know on Friday 12 June the event industry will help make a real difference.“
 
Since 2010, event professionals taking part in the Howard’s Way Walks have raised more than £330,000 for the charity by completing gruelling hikes across Britain’s most challenging landscapes. For this first time, the walk will be in a urban setting and open to the wider event industry.

Howard’s Way Walk sets out mass event industry Chelsea to Arsenal 10 mile plans

Howard’s Way Walk, the event industry charity hikeathon, has challenged event professionals to take to London’s streets for a 10 mile walk for pancreatic cancer charities.

The walk, taking place on Friday 12 June, will see 200 event professionals trekking the 10 miles from the home of Chelsea Football Club to the home of Arsenal Football Club through two of London’s most famous parks, Hyde Park and Regent’s Park.

Story via Field Marketing and Brand Experience. Read more here

Event Professionals Challenged to 10 mile Hike by Howard’s Way Walk

Howard’s Way Walk, the event industry charity hikeathon, has challenged event professionals to take to London’s streets for a 10 mile walk for pancreatic cancer charities.

The walk, taking place on Friday 12 June, will see 200 event professionals trekking the 10 miles from the home of Chelsea Football Club to the home of Arsenal Football Club through two of London’s most famous parks, Hyde Park and Regent’s Park.

Howard’s Way Walk was created in memory of event professional Howard Kerr after losing his battle with pancreatic cancer. This year’s walk takes on a new poignancy after the tragic passing of Jim Harding, Head of Premium Sales and Hospitality at Arsenal Football Club, from the same disease.

Since 2010, event professionals taking part in the Howard’s Way Walks have raised over £330,000 for the charity by completing gruelling hikes across Britain’s most challenging landscapes. For this first time, the walk will be in a urban setting and open to the wider event industry.

Nick Grecian, Managing Director of Gallowglass and brother-in-law of Howard Kerr, said: “Each year 9,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Of those, only 3% survive 5 years. It has the lowest survival rate of all cancers. Most only last a few months.

“I am so proud of what we have done so far with Howard’s Way Walk to address earlier diagnosis and I know on Friday 12 June the event industry will help make a real difference.“

Carlo Zoccali, Meetings and Events Manager at Arsenal Football Club, said: “We lost our colleague and friend this year from pancreatic cancer and we are honoured to be supporting Howard’s Way Walk in Jim’s memory.”

Head of Venue and Brand at Chelsea Football Club, Simon Hunter, said: “Cancer has affected most of us in some way or another and we’re proud to have joined forces with Arsenal and Howard’s Way Walk to support the event. It’s going to be a great sight to see the large crowd of event professionals walking, talking and networking in aid of this worthy cause.”

Howard’s Way Walk Returns for 2015!

Howard’s Way Walk, the event industry charity fundraiser, is back for 2015. Howard’s Way Walk is a unique charity walk dedicated to raising money to fight pancreatic cancer in memory of one of its victims, Howard Kerr. Set up in 2007, Howard’s Way Walk was inspired by event professional Howard, who was diagnosed with the illness that year. It was Howard’s passion to make a difference and his enthusiasm to raise awareness that has made Howard’s Way Walk such a special event within the event industry.

The event holds even more significance this year due to the death of Jim Harding. Jim was Head of Premium Sales and Hospitality at Arsenal Football Club and sadly passed away from the pancreatic cancer earlier this year. The walk will now be dedicated to celebrating the lives of two inspiring event professionals, who have left a lasting legacy within the industry.

The walk invites like-minded event professionals to get together to “walk, talk and network” whilst focusing on raising money to fight the dreadful disease that is pancreatic cancer. Walkers have historically undertaken some of the most challenging walks in Britain. Between 2008-13 the dedicated crew have walked The Ridgeway, Hadrians Wall, The South Downs Way, the Dales Way, the Cotswolds Way and the West Highlands Way. Raising in excess of £280,000 in the process.

This year there are big changes to the walk.

Firstly it’s an open event – anyone in the event industry can take part.

Secondly it will take place through the heart of London as footballing rivalries are set-aside with both Chelsea and Arsenal confirmed to take part to help raise money for Pancreatic Cancer Research. The walk will begin at Stamford Bridge, home of Chelsea Football Club in South West London and end at the iconic Emirates Stadium, in North London, Home of Arsenal Football Club.

This 10-mile walk is set to be one of the most exciting Howard’s Way Walks to date and we want as many event industry professionals to be involved as possible.

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