Big-hearted South Tyneside fundraisers trek Hadrian’s Wall to support Hebburn Helps and In Kind
Nearly two dozen walkers have trekked 84 miles, from one end of Hadrian’s Wall to the other, in a marathon fundraiser for two South Tyneside charities.
The coast-to-coast route had, as of Tuesday, September 14, seen around £500 raised for the Hebburn Helps centre and the In Kind group, part of the borough’s Concern mental health branch.
The 22-strong group of hardy footsloggers set off at around 9:30am on Friday, September 10, before returning to Tyneside on Monday, September 13.
17 of the 22 completed the route. On average, the group completed around 20 miles during each day of their gruelling fundraiser challenge.
A number of those involved in the effort also took part in a recent Three Peak challenge on behalf of the borough food bank and crisis centre in the summer.
Kirsty Robson, from South Shields, organised the coast-to-coast event, saying that the work carried out by Hebburn Helps in particular is ‘close to her heart’.
"I really needed to do my training ahead of this,” she said.
"Everyone was carrying in excess of 15kg of kit on their backs because we camped the whole way. But spirits have been high for most of the journey, which helped keep us all going.
"I’ve never had to use a food bank and I feel very fortunate to not have been forced to so far. But the pandemic really made me think about what happens beyond my four walls.
"Hebburn Helps aren’t just a food bank – they’re a crisis centre as well, who are there to help the vulnerable in our area. A lot of people have been raising money for big national charities this weekend through the Great North Run – which is their choice and fine, of course – but why not support charities in our area, who work with only a fraction of the money and budgets, if you can.”
Angie Comerford, co-founder of the Hebburns Helps organisation, which is anticipating unprecedented levels of need in the borough over the winter period, also took part in the coast-to-coast walk.
She said: “Because mental health and poverty come hand in hand, it was important to involve In Kind as well.
"It’s been a really, really brutal four days. The experience of a lifetime but absolutely brutal – hats off to every single one of them that turned out and did it.”