Following on from lockdown number 3 & in the run up to what would have been Sir Captain Tom Moore’s 101st birthday, Chris our Managing Director thought we should set ourselves a challenge of walking for 24 hours. His suggestion was for Mind, for better mental health which we all feel is so relevant given the past 15 months. The route we chose was Lloyds Bank house our head office to nearby Hesleyside Hall; again, keeping it relevant as this was the route many local folks took on their 1-hour daily exercise Boris allowed during lockdown 1. A 4-mile round trip which was perfect to allow others to join in with us for a stint if they wished.
Emma & Sarah set to planning & on the 30th of April, Sir Captain Tom’s birthday date we announced the event to the local community & invited local businesses, organisations, group, schools & residents to sign up to join in. Everyone was very supportive & keen to get on board. A local restaurant held a raffle to raise money, the local butcher produced a special sausage recipe & donated all profits to our fundraiser. A client even offered himself & his van as our support vehicle for the day.
Once the announcement was made & things started to get real, we all thought we better get some training in. A hint of competitiveness soon became apparent in the office over how many miles or how many steps were done. Donation were flooding on our JustGiving page.
In no time Friday the 11th arrived. Our £3,000 target was surpassed before we began. After some food fuel from Riverdale Hall Hotel we set off at 4pm from the office. We allowed 90 minutes for each stint to ensure all abilities could join us. 10pm came & we dug out the high viz jackets & head torches. Midnight came & a couple of us were feeling some pain & exhaustion. The sun came up & the local butcher provided bacon sarnies all round & spirits lifted. At 8.30am we had children on ponies join us. The 11.30am stint was our family friendly stint; the local farmer allowed us a field for parking in the old Bellingham Show field which meant children were not walking over the Tyne Bridge. They joined us at the junction to the Hesleyside Hall road with their goody bags & balloons, some on foot, some on scooters & some in pushchairs. They all did so well!
2.30pm arrived & we were on the final stint! 4 miles left & a great turnout! We arrived at Hesleyside Hall for the final time & the head of the Charlton family greeted us with homemade sloe gin! Exactly what we needed to get us through the home run! Back at base camp for 4pm to some well-deserved ice-cold beverages & a token medal specially made by a local resident as a memento of the challenge.
At present our JustGiving page is at £4,670 & cash donations taken in the village stand approx. £1,000 with donations still coming in! We are overwhelmed with the support received & amount of people from the local community & local businesses that joined in. 91 people took part & 774 miles were walked. A great effort for a great cause!