Walk the Island success for Enable Ability WCBB and SPARK

Just 2 months ago, on 1st July, Kevin Day, John Ryder and a team of 100 walkers, ‘Walked the Island’ to raised funds for our Wheelchair Basketball service, and also for another local charity, SPARK Community Space.

Walk The Island (WTI) was set-up in 2022, with the focus on raising money and awareness for in-need Portsmouth based charities with tangible projects. After holding the first event of its kind last year, raising £30,000 for one local charity, this year they decided to make their walk bigger, better, and more personal by going the extra mile to support 2 local Portsmouth-based charities!

Enable Ability was the Walk the Island team’s first chosen charity for this year’s event, and the project that the team wanted to support was our charity’s Wheelchair Basketball service (WCBB), as the sports wheelchairs we use are in need of repair.

“Our Wheelchair Basketball service has been running for over 20 years now, so you can appreciate that equipment deteriorates over time. When we found out that John and the WTI team wanted to help raise funds to replace them, we were over the moon!

Katie, Wheelchair Basketball Project Lead

SPARK Community Space was the team’s second chosen charity, and the efforts from this years WTI event would go towards funding a new Media Centre at their hub in Fratton Way.

The Walk the Island event was officially opened by one of Enable Ability’s Patron’s and MP for Portsmouth North, Penny Mordaunt, and BBC’s Antique presenter and Portsmouth born John Cameron. They happily joined in the celebrations to kick-start the walk. Over 100 people signed up to join the walk, which covered a total of 14 miles. Split into two groups, the walk took the walkers on a very enjoyable sight-seeing tour around Portsea Island, which began at Southsea Pier. Both groups stopped at the WW1 Cenotaph in Portsmouth Guildhall and the People’s Memorial along Milton Common to lay reeves in memory of the first day of the Somme.

Through the sheer hard work and determination from the WTI team, the event raised an incredible £36,550!!! The funds have been split between both charities, with Enable Ability receiving £24,550, and SPARK, £12,000. Enable Ability will be able to purchase brand new sports wheelchairs and other equipment, and also provide additional sessions during holidays. SPARK will be able to create a new media room at their new space for people to be able to talk about their life stories.

“We were absolutely delighted that Kevin, John and the Walk the Island team wanted to raise much needed funds to replace our current sports wheelchairs with brand new ones. We are even more ecstatic that not only did the WTI team raise funds to provide us with a number of new wheelchairs, but they also provided us with additional funds to help make WCBB more accessible to others during school holiday periods. The amount of money raised for our WCBB service is simply incredible!”

Hollie, Partnerships and Events Officer

John Ryder from Walk The Island said,

“We wanted to focus our efforts this year on supporting two local charities. We are so thankful to all the local businesses and individuals that donated this year, or sponsored the event. Our thanks also goes to Express FM, to Nolan Bishop, Penny Mordaunt; and John Cameon for their support on the day, and to the amazing 100 walkers who, without them, none of this would of happened!”

Enable Ability’s Wheelchair Basketball service is open to all every Wednesday at Portchester Community School, and most Tuesdays during holiday periods. For more information about Enable Ability’s Wheelchair Basketball service, please contact Katie at wcbb.enableability.org.uk / 02392 671846

Enable Ability’s Wheelchair Basketball service at a cheque presentation ceremony, featuring members of the Walk the Island Team, MP for Portsmouth North, Penny Mordaunt, and Enable Ability staff
SPARK Community Space at their cheque presentation ceremony