Angie Comerford, who helped set up the Hebburn Helps community support group, will set out on a marathon-length walking challenge this Saturday, April 24, to raise money for another good cause – the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade.
The Hebburn resident will begin her fundraiser walk at the South Shields pier, going on through to Seaham, before doubling back to complete the 26-mile route.
She spoke of the toll the pandemic has taken on South Tynesiders’ mental health when explaining why she is campaigning to help support the group financially.
“I’m looking forward to doing it,” she told The Gazette.
"I’ll be doing well to get to the end of it and not be in tears, but I’m looking forward to it.
“We’ve already had loads of support and I think there’s going to be refreshments out at Whitburn and at Roker Beach.
"It’s also just to help raise awareness around what the group does. Unless you were involved in a rescue incident yourself, you probably wouldn’t even know what they’re doing.”
Based at the Watch House on the town’s South Pier, The South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade has performed in many cases life-saving search and rescue operations along the South Tyneside coastline since 1866.
This requires constant training, replacements of old equipment, as well as acquiring new gear and kitting out the team.
Tom Fennelly, Honorary Secretary of South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade, said:” Everyone was greatly impressed when Angie contacted us to say that she wanted to raise money for the Brigade with this marathon walk.
"It is even more remarkable that friends and supporters of another local charity should want to raise funds for another local charity.”
Angie also opened up around her own mental health struggles when speaking about what prompted her to launch the fundraiser.
"I’ve suffered from depression for a long time,” she said.
"I know where I am with it and I get on with it. But, more and more lately, I’m seeing so many people losing their lives.”
Angie’s Just Giving Page for the fundraiser can be found here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/angela-comerford3