‘80km for 80 years’ feat marks D-Day anniversary and supports veterans

DETERMINED fundraisers are putting their best foot forward to walk 80 kilometres in two days across Saddleworth, Oldham and Manchester to mark 80 years since the Normandy Landings.

June 6, 2024, brings the milestone anniversary of the historic operation, also known as D-Day, when the Allied Forces mounted a large-scale invasion of Nazi-occupied France and tipped the Second World War in their favour.

A series of major commemorations and events are planned across the United Kingdom and in France for the landmark occasion.

Sarah Tate, from Sarah’s Community Challenges Project (SCCP), has organised the ‘80km for 80 years’ feat to raise funds for Oldham Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club, and Broughton House Veteran Care Village.

Sarah with some of the veterans

It will take place on June 28 and 29, which is Armed Forces Weekend, when the team will walk in honour of the servicemen, women and veterans who have served their country.

Funds raised will go to supporting the two causes, including for a Christmas Dinner, and festive cards and presents for veterans.

Sarah, from Lees, explained: “We supported the veterans last year, including contributing towards their first Christmas Dinner event and sending over 140 Christmas presents and handwritten cards.

“We want to do even better this year, and expand to include Millfield House in Waterhead, who are newly veteran accredited, SSAFA and a number of Royal British Legion Branches.

“A lot of the money we will raise from the walk is pigeonholed for these December projects and we will add to it in October and November with more events.”

The walk starts on Friday, June 28 at about 9.20am, covering approximately 55km across Lees, Ashton, Failsworth, Oldham and Manchester city centre.

The team will sleep outside overnight at Oldham Civic Centre and have the support from a good number of Oldham Youth Council members who are joining them for this mammoth challenge.

They will set off on Saturday for the final 25km at 7am, aiming to finish at about 2pm at The Halfway House in Royton.

Sarah added: “Come along and join us on the Saturday and cheer us on as we complete this massive feat.

“We want to get the bulk of it done on the Friday and under our belt as it will be a very long day.

“But on day two we will need people to come along to support us as we are going to be knackered and in need of a boost of morale to finish the final 25km.”

  • Sarah’s Community Challenges Project (SCCP), which is in the process of registering for charity status, raises money to help locals of all ages and backgrounds.

Their focus is on physical, mental health and educational opportunities, and fundraisers so far have included a 25-mile walk, 24-hour row, sleepout and ball.

A previous SCCP fundraising walk

A Summer Fun Day, including a music showcase and freestyle singing competition, is in the pipeline, with more information and tickets to be released soon.

To find out more and support SCCP, visit their website www.sccp.org.uk, email sarah.tate@sccp.org.uk or call 0161 383 4657.

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