D-Day anniversary walk raises over £1,000 to support veterans

MORE than £1,000 was raised to support veterans as determined fundraisers tackled a challenging ‘80km for 80 years’ walk to mark the anniversary of D-Day.

The two-day event, organised by Sarah Tate of Sarah’s Community Challenges Project (SCCP), took place across Saddleworth, Oldham and Manchester.

June 6, 2024, saw the 80-year anniversary of the Normandy Landings, when the Allied Forces mounted a large-scale invasion of Nazi-occupied France and tipped the Second World War in the Allies’ favour.

As a series of commemorations and events took place across the United Kingdom and France, Lees-based Sarah wanted to ensure people closer to home did not forget either.

The SCCP team took on their feat on June 28-29 – Armed Forces Weekend – walking in honour of the servicemen, women and veterans who served their country.

And after a gruelling couple of days, including an overnight sleepout, Sarah was delighted to have raised so much for Oldham Armed Forces and Veterans Breakfast Club, and Broughton House Veteran Care Village.

She said: “What an exhausting but fabulous and extremely humbling two days.

“By the end of day one we were all battered and bruised. I had blister on blister on my feet and we were really struggling.

“I made the conscious decision to cut down some of the kilometres and do convoys towards the end of the day or day two wouldn’t have happened at all.

“We finished the day on 47km, which was a bit short of our target, and we managed another 24km on day two and added on a few more kilometres afterwards so overall we were just shy of 75km.

“It does feel like a bit of a fraud that we didn’t quite get the 80km over the two days but I challenge anyone to do it – we were exhausted!”

The team set off from Wellyhole Street in Lees, and took stops including Leesfield Pre-School, Broughton House, and Shaw RBL.

Day one ended at Oldham Civic Centre for a sleepout with members of Oldham Youth Council before an early start on Day Two.

They visited residents at Millfield Residential Home in Waterhead, including one who turns 104 this month, before stops at RBL Lees and District Branch, Oldham War Memorial and Royton Park.

Sarah Tate with Civic Mayor of Oldham Cllr Zahid Chauhan

And as they crossed their finish-line at The Halfway House in Royton they were greeted by a guard of honour before joining in celebrations for Armed Forces Day.

Sarah reflected: “At Broughton House we talked to the residents, including D-Day veteran Peter who turned 100 in December, before they walked us out and applauded as we left which was so touching.

“It is very humbling when you get a pat on the back from the people who did everything for us.

“They are so grateful for us raising this money to help them but it feels a bit surreal when they are the ones with the medals on their cabinets.”

A bucket collection raised £189.98 while more money from sponsorship and games on the SCCP Facebook group brought the total to just over £1,000.

Donations are still welcome and the money raised will support the two causes.

Sarah explained: “We will hold onto the money we’ve raised as we are planning more events in October and November so will add to the total.

“We supported the veterans last year, including contributing towards their first Christmas Dinner event and sending over 130 Christmas presents and handwritten cards. We want to do even better this year.

“It will also help us fund other things for veterans, such as taking those from Millfield Residential Home to visit Broughton House.”

  • Sarah’s Community Challenges Project (SCCP), which is in 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.

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

  • Don’t miss their Fun Day on Saturday, September 14, with tickets now on sale.

There will be a music showcase throughout the day as well as a freestyle singing competition for ages 18 and under.

Any profits generated will go to local causes and projects in the borough, mainly in Grotton, Lees and Springhead. Please contact Sarah if your group wishes to benefit.

Ten per cent has been ringfenced for Nurturing Hope in Delph, which offers counselling through outdoor activities for families, building bonds through nature.

Sarah is also looking for tombola prizes, business sponsorship and donation of goods for the event. Get in touch to help visit their Facebook page on contact Sarah.

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