Meet The GWT Trailwalker Team

The GWT Platinum Jubilee Team takes on Trailwalker ’22!

Trailwalker is the ultimate endurance event. Teams of four people take on a 100km route across the stunning South Downs, finishing on Brighton Racecourse. Walk, jog or run, the cut-off is 30 hours with the fastest teams expecting to finish in under 11 hours.

Trailwalker 2022 will be a special event as we have put together a GWT team. Our challengers are two staff members and two of our valued supporters, ably assisted by our Support Crew and their trusty Landrover! On Saturday 24th September we’ll be setting off early in the morning, walking on through the night and aiming to complete the course in under 24 hours, in time for a curry breakfast at the finish!

Most importantly, we aim to raise an incredible £12,000 for The Gurkha Welfare Trust. The funds we raise will go towards refurbishing two schools – Siddeshwar Basic School and Maidan Secondary School. These improvements will create a much better learning environment for hundreds of Nepali children, giving them a brighter future. Thank you so much for supporting us!

Donate here

Update: Team Training Day

On Sunday 24th July Piers, Ed and Heather got together for a training walk, ably assisted by Support Crew Carolyn and John with a packed Land Rover. They completed a 22-mile loop around Salisbury Plain, on mixed terrain with a hill or two thrown in. They kept up a good pace, covering the distance in approx 6.5 hours, allowing for short breaks at pre-arranged checkpoints for a rest, food and a change of shoes and socks. Support crew John and Carolyn put a lot of effort into planning, and were ready with table, chairs, cups of tea and cooked food at the first checkpoint. Chocolate cake at the finish was much appreciated, as well as a generous donation from local residents who showed a great interest in the cause. Well done Team!

Update: What are we fundraising for?

Our fundraising target is £12,000 which will fund the refurbishment of two schools in Nepal.

Shree Siddheshwor Basic School provides primary level education to a poor and marginalised community in Gandaki Province. The school has six classrooms in a building which suffered severe damage during the earthquake of 2015. Since then, there has been no funding available to make repairs. The stone walls are crumbling and dangerous, the roofs in poor repair with rotting timbers and constantly leak when it rains. After a recce of the site a GWT staff reported back:

“The school is in a pretty dire state… The roofs are not fixed properly and one can only imagine what it is like during the monsoon. The staff are energetic and positive and wear their hearts on their sleeves. It would be a godsend if GWT could help them ensure the children get a safe environment to continue with their studies”

The GWT will construct a new four-classroom building at the school, ensuring students will be able to access quality education and study in a safe environment.

Shree Maidan Secondary School in the village of Bangephadke has 116 students and provides classes from primary up to secondary level. The school has been doing a great job providing quality education but has only been able to do this on a small scale. With the proper infrastructure, the school has the potential to provide an education for many more children. There are currently 13 classrooms, but one building damaged during the 2015 earthquake is now too dangerous to use. The project will include the construction of eight new classrooms and a hostel. The hostel facility will provide accommodation for children who live too far away to travel to and from school each day, particularly during the monsoon season. It is also needed for students to stay during exams.

The image gallery shows the condition of the schools at present: we look forward to sharing the ‘after’ photos with you once the projects are complete.

Piers Lawson – Team Captain

I joined The GWT in May 2014 as the Head of Major Donor Fundraising. Before that I served with The Royal Hussars (PWO) for 14 years and upon leaving the Army set up and ran an event management business for 18 years. I formed a team (24 Hour Dal Bhat Power) to participate in Trailwalker 2019, which completed the course in under 24 hours. Dillikumar Rai, a member of the team this year, also participated with me in 2019.

In the dim, distant past, I ran four marathons, the first of which I completed in 3 hours and 24 minutes. However one stipulation for our GWT Platinum Jubilee Team is that there should be no running! Now in my 65th year, I feel that this might possibly be my second and last Trailwalker!

Major Dillikumar Rai MVO

I am currently a serving member of the Brigade of Gurkhas. I enlisted in the Armed Forces (Brigade of Gurkhas) in 1993. On completion of basic infantry training in Hong Kong, I joined the 7th Duke of Edinburgh’s Own Gurkha Rifles (7GR) which latterly became The Royal Gurkha Rifles. I served with 2nd Parachute Regiment for 5 years. During my army career, I was deployed on numerous Operations including five tours in Afghanistan. In 2012, I was commissioned and undertook various challenging appointments, then in 2017 I was honoured to be appointed Her Majesty The Queen’s Gurkha Orderly Officer.

I take a very keen interest in sports and like to keep myself fit and ready to fight. I also have a keen interest in Regimental history, fundamentals of the Brigade, the Gurkha tradition and customs. I take part in a number of charity activities for The Gurkha Welfare Trust to support our veterans in Nepal. This is my seventh Trailwalker and I would like to do three more to make it ten in total.

Ed Flanagan

My late father was a dedicated supporter of The GWT and the fantastic work they do. My background is in S.E.N. provision and I am also a Bikeability Instructor working in the Leicestershire area. My partner and I had the pleasure of travelling to Nepal earlier this year for a school visit and were so impressed by the difference that GWT projects are making.

This year I will be celebrating my 50th birthday as well as Her Majesty’s 75th Jubilee year and this makes it an ideal time to challenge myself and hopefully raise some money for vital projects in Nepal in the process. I’m a keen cyclist which keeps me fit but have never attempted anything like the Trailwalker Challenge until now.

Heather Hitchins

I joined The GWT just a year ago as Communications & Digital Co-ordinator. One of the perks of my role is sharing the incredible photos and stories of the brave veterans and widows we support. Earlier this year I was privileged to visit some of our Welfare Centres and projects in Nepal. I was inspired by the hard work and dedication of our teams out there, and the real difference this makes to the lives of Gurkha veterans and their communities.

I like to keep active, I love running and outdoor swimming… but I have never walked any great distance! For me, staying awake, navigating in the dark, and being on my feet for 24 hours are the major challenges, and completing the course will be the most amazing achievement.

Are you Trailwalker strong?

If you think you could take on the mighty Trailwalker with a group of family or friends, there are still team places available – sign up here!



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