Charlotte Fretwell

I first took part in the Dorset charity Walk in 2010 when I was a student at Ely college.

I first took part in the Dorset charity Walk in 2010 when I was a student at Ely college. At this time, you had to earn your place on the walk, I remember working so hard to be able to go on the walk, but I think the PE teachers, not surprisingly doubted my ability. However, being quite a determined character I tried my hardest to change their minds and I did…

To this day I can still remember when I was given the letter. I was called out of class and handed the letter by Mr Whales (who at the time I found rather scary).

I was so excited to receive the letter inviting me on the walk, I remember talking about it all day.

Like a lot of teenagers, Year Ten and Eleven was a struggle for me, as well has having the pressures of exams, I also experienced some changes within my family which left me feeling in a very low place. I cannot explain how much the Dorset walk boosted my wellbeing at this time.

I am forever grateful for the opportunity I was given to experience this walk at this time. I have now completed the walk five times. For me, as well as raising money for an amazing charity, it’s always so moving to see so many teenagers embracing this challenge. I normally plod along at the back of the group and I love encouraging the students along as well as hearing about their struggles and ambitions.

The charity walk along the Dorset coastline ticks all of the boxes for wellbeing, which are connect, be active, take notice, and keep learning. I find it pretty amazing how valuable the walk is not only for the student’s well-being but also for learning life skills, including experiencing camping.

My ambition in life has always been to help others, I also love planning events. I feel so proud that I can represent The Malcom Whales Foundation through local charity events in my community such as cake stalls, quiz nights and the occasional ball/disco. I also like to give others a purpose, I am fortunate enough to work in a small family run childcare business in which some of the children love helping to organise regular cake stalls for the charity. I feel proud to be able to promote the charity further as a patron and I am excited to get more involved.

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