As News Shopper's finest staff prepare to join hundreds of walkers on a magical night time charity walk through the striking urban landscapes of London and into the gorgeous countryside of Kent, DAN KEEL took part in one of Widehorizons' activity days to find out where the money will go.

Charlton Manor School is one of many to have benefited from Widehorizons' outdoor learning schemes over the last few months.

Twelve children aged 10 and 11 descended upon Widehorizons’ Margaret McMillan House in Wrotham for a programme of wall-climbing, pond-dipping and campfire making.

The programme, part of the charity's Adventure Learning Partnerships with schools is designed to help pupils who need extra support during the school holidays to reach their potential.

It is hoped outdoor activities such as assault courses and high rope walking, which these children rarely get a chance to tackle, will give them the confidence boost they need.

Year 6 teacher Richard Wakeford said: "By doing it, feeling it and touching it they are more likely to absorb what they are being taught, where as if you tell them what to do they won't want to.

"For example, we set them on a wall climb, but half way up the wall they will need to answer questions which win points for their team.

"For whatever reason, despite there being a lot of green space in Greenwich, kids don't seem to be using it."

News Shopper:

"By the second day here, they were really engaged and started to follow the instructions."

Niall Leyden is Widehorizons' head of adventure learning and oversees the activities.

He said: "It is all about gearing towards their SATS exams.

"It's not that they are not clever.

"Part of the problem with the exam is that it stresses the children out.

"The idea of the rope-climbing is that is that it makes them think "if I can answer a question in a high-stress situation, like when I am climbing a tree, then I can definitely handle an exam."

Eden Blackman, aged 11, says he has loved the entire scheme.

He said: ""It has been really good fun because there have been tonnes of activities.

"I have really enjoyed being in the woods, making stuff and being outside in the woods with all the bluebells.

"I think the rope climbing has been my favourite part - I prefer being out here in the fresh air and it has definitely made me braver."


Walkers who sign up will have a choice of a 25km or 50km event with hundreds of florescent arrows showing you the way along the carefully planned route.

Meanwhile, everyone will be treated to soup and bread rolls at the half-way point and a hot breakfast on the finish line.

News Shopper:

Date: Saturday June 21

Time: Registration from 6.30pm Walks start at 7.45pm in Eltham and 11.30pm in Horton Kirby

Distance: 25km (5-6hrs) or 50km (10-12hrs)

Start location: Eltham or Horton Kirby (near Dartford)

Finish Location: Horton Kirby (near Dartford) or Wrotham, Kent Registration opens from 6.30pm.

Minimum Age: 16

Visit or to keep up-to-date on the event's progress.


Twitter: @Widehorizons_uk HOW DO I REGISTER?



Call: 0845 600 65 67

Cost: £10 registration fee. £90 minimum fundraising