Tom’s Trek 2021

Why are we walking yet again?

The pensioners ZANE assists face economic catastrophe. The lockdown is having a devastating impact on an already shattered economy. As a result, famine is widespread and the looming fear of disease hangs over Zimbabwe like a shroud.

For those pensioners supported by ZANE, each day is a struggle for survival – healthcare, of course, is limited to the rich who can afford to leave Zimbabwe.

These pensioners are effectively trapped and each day is a misery punctuated by water shortages, fuel queues, rampant inflation and the desperate search for affordable food. For example, the price of tea bags has tripled in the last fortnight and sugar has become a rare find.

ZANE has never lost donor money to theft, corruption, busted banks or “middle men”.

Our loyal ZANE workers gently means-test potential recipients of aid. This ensures that donor cash – your money – is spent where it is really needed.

Through your generosity, our ZANE workers are saving the lives of pensioners who otherwise would be facing a slow death from hunger and neglect. They have nowhere else to turn to but ZANE.

Imagine being old and destitute, and trapped in a country without welfare or healthcare provision of any kind. It could be you; it could be me. So please consider sponsoring Jane and me and Moses, our dog, walking for ZANE once again. Together, we can feed the hungry, and replace loneliness and despair with hope and love.

We dedicate this walk to our loyal ZANE donors who make the survival of Zimbabwe’s impoverished pensioners possible.

Thank you for your support.

Yours sincerely,

Tom Benyon OBE

The Day After

Two Weeks Later… Day of relative rest – relative because Jane is working at the food bank, and I am dealing with loads of overdue administration. Many thanks to donors for their sponsorship and kind wishes. And to the excellent ZANE team for their background support. We were fortunate in our driver, Richard, who has …

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Day 15: Tiddington to Oxford

The Final Day The final day. Perfect weather and good company. We met the food bank contingent for lunch, and then we marched up Shotover Hill and down the other side into Oxford. For the last couple of weeks, as we have tottered from theatre to theatre in a great arch, we have been blessed …

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Day 14: Upton to Tiddington

Match Points A happy day with friends walking with us. Only a day left to go, and we won’t be sorry when it is finished. We have been fortunate with the weather: only one gruelling period of intense heat. Last night we watched the now world-famous Emma Raducanu win the US Open Tennis tournament. Clearly, …

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Day 13: Whitchurch to Upton

Ailing Aylesbury Six walkers today, all friends. We talked endlessly as we walked; it was fun. We trailed through poor old, down-at-heel, litter-strewn Aylesbury, a once beautiful and elegant town. Its graceful Georgian centre was gutted by 1950/60s so-called “planners” and greedy developers. When next you visit Aylesbury, recall George Eliot’s quote: “Behind every great …

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