Biennial House Walks are a staple of the Manor House calendar, but this year we decided to take a more interesting and meaningful route by walking from the sea at Brighton back to Eton. Drawing up the exact route proved to be less straightforward than we initially anticipated, as numerous factors had to be considered, including most notably terrain and safety. However, through a joint effort by House Master Mr Walsh and Mr Gundle, both seasoned cross-country adventurers, we decided on the final route without any serious challenges. The 90-mile journey was divided among five groups and completed in a relay format over the weekend, with my own group having to cross the Surrey countryside through the night.

Whilst the idea of a House Walk remained fundamentally the same as in previous years, the charities to which we chose to send our donations were unique. News of the constant suffering of civilians due to the ongoing war in Ukraine resounded with us all and we therefore selected UNICEF Ukraine as our main charity of choice and decided to send half our received donations to this charity. UNICEF Ukraine is one of the largest charities helping civilians affected by the war through providing clean water and emergency medicines. Meanwhile, we felt that the five charities picked by Eton Action this year all supported meaningful causes, including the Trussell Trust and the Dusty Yak Foundation. In addition, the fact that our walk overlapped with the Eton Action Fair reinforced the suitability of contributing the other half of our funds to Eton Action.

The walk itself was a challenging endeavour for everyone. Heavy rain preceding the weekend rendered the already difficult terrain into mud which was especially difficult to navigate at night. Despite our spirits having been somewhat eroded by the conditions, we soldiered on, motivating ourselves by remembering the noble cause for which we were walking. In the end, almost everyone managed to finish their respective legs of the journey, with the final group reaching Eton on Sunday evening. Personally, I spent the next week limping around the school but at least I could rest knowing our effort had been well rewarded. Almost £8,000 would be divided between the chosen charities which would make a real difference to the communities we set out to support, whether 10 miles down the road or over 5,000 miles away. Equally, I was glad to have had the opportunity to organise, at least in part, such a meaningful event for us all.