Charlie Cookson Foundation walk will have added poignancy after death of little Carter

People are being urged to put their best foot forward to help a South Shields charity which helps the families of seriously ill youngsters.

The annual Charlie Cookson trek will take place on Sunday, June 30, as fundraisers walk from the Stadium of Light in Sunderland to St James’s Park in Newcastle, via Boldon and Gateshead.

Charlie Cookson

Charlie Cookson

The 14-mile walk will include stop-offs along the way where people can take a breather and refuel with a snack and refreshments.

Last year’s event saw 50 supporters of the charity take part - raising just over £5,000 for the organisation, which was created by South Shields couple Sarah and Chris Cookson in memory of their son Charlie.

The youngster died in 2013, aged just two, when he lost a lifelong struggle against a series of mystery health problems.

Tragically, the couple’s second son Carter also lost his fight for life last month, after a donor heart could not be in time for a life-saving transplant.

We have such a wide variety of ages taking part, last year our youngest was seven years old while our oldest was 70.

Joanne Nicholson

The walk will also raise awareness of organ donation - a cause the couple feel passionately about.

Joanne Nicholson, fundraising and events manager for the Charlie Cookson Foundation, said: “It’s always such a great atmosphere.

“We have such a wide variety of ages taking part. Last year our youngest was seven years old while our oldest was 70, and each year our numbers increase.

“As well as raising money for the Foundation, we will also be hoping to raise awareness of organ donation and people becoming organ donors.”

Carter Cookson

Carter Cookson

The walk is open to people of all ages, though under-16s must be accompanied by an adult.

In previous years, the walk has attracted families who have been supported by the charity.

To register to take part call into the Charlie Cookson shop on Fowler Street, South Shields, or email Joanne on