Derbyshire Army Cadet Force, affiliated to the Mercian Regiment, raised over £6,800 for Derbyshire hospices - including Treetops Hospice Care - with their July fundraising activities.

Following the cancellation of the Crich Memorial Pilgrimage, adult volunteers and cadets across Derbyshire set out on a socially distanced challenge and counted their steps, achieving amazing results along the way as they raised vital funds for two Derbyshire hospices, including Treetops Hospice Care.

Covering more than 3.7 million steps between them, their collective step count covered the equivalent distance (straight line) from Derby, UK to Derbino in Russia; some 368km past Moscow, as they completed a staggering combined total of 3,730,687 steps.

Other notable achievements from within their ranks include a single detachment covering the equivalent distance of a motorway journey from London to Glasgow (808,378 steps) and an individual adult instructor, Lt Paul Thomas, who cycled 172km which is the same as riding from the Derbyshire ACF HQ to Heathrow Airport, in a straight line, or to the Warner Brothers, Harry Potter studios, Watford, if he was using the road network.

Step Challenge to support their community during today’s emergency

Derbyshire Army Cadet Force Commandant, Colonel Chris Doyle told us:

“Our girls and boys, all aged between 12 and 18, collectively walking the equivalent of nearly 1,766 miles during lockdown, that is some going.

“On the day of the event, cadets should have paraded at Crich Memorial remembering people from our community who died serving our Country. Not to be beaten by Covid 19, Derbyshire cadets embarked on the Step Challenge to support their community during today’s emergency.

The unsung heroes in our community providing vital care and comfort

“Derbyshire’s hospices are the beneficiaries of all the money raised by the Cadets, they are the unsung heroes in our community providing the vital care and comfort at the very time of our lives we need it most. I would like to congratulate our cadets who planned and conducted this challenge by themselves, it is a job well done. Can I also thank all the mums, dads, family and friends who helped the cadets on the day and donated generously to the cause.”

The reason I did the walk is as I wanted to finally get out and do something challenging, raising money for a great charity in need. But I also did it to spend time with my cadet friends and finally see them again!

CDT Bulloch 

I did the step Challenge to raise money for Treetops as it is a good cause and they helped my grandad when he had cancer. I was also inspired by my mum as she did a 24 mile walk for Treetops when she was younger. 


Young girl giving thumbs upA fantastic achievement and a real legacy

Speaking on behalf of Treetops Hospice Care, Cheryl Morris, deputy community relationships manager, added:

“Our huge congratulations and thanks go to everyone who’s taken part in the Crich Memorial Pilgrimage Challenge and contributed to the 3.7 million steps! It’s a fantastic achievement and a real legacy to look back on during lockdown.

“The money you’ve raised for Treetops is wonderful and will help us continue to care for patients with life-limiting conditions and their families across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. Thank you so much from us all at Treetops!”

Below are some key facts and figures related to their achievements:

  • 3,730,687 steps counted, equating to a distance of 2,842.8 km
  • £6,849.61 raised (of which £6577.61 came via a Justgiving page)
  • Wirksworth detachment raised £1,924 and Cadet G Law, individually achieved £899
  • Long Eaton detachment covered 808,378 steps
  • Lt Paul Thomas, 172 km bike ride

Two young people walking in the countrysideFor more information about joining or working with the Army Cadets, visit armycadets.com or contact Derbyshire Army Cadet Force HQ on 01332  772025.