Stepping up to help cause

Hazel St John-Taylor and Heather Gibbins (L) are raising money for Oxfam by doing a series of sponsored walks
Hazel St John-Taylor and Heather Gibbins (L) are raising money for Oxfam by doing a series of sponsored walks

Two Lytham women are raising money for a good cause, the North West Way.

Hazel St John Taylor, manager at the Oxfam shop in Lytham, and volunteer Heather Gibbins are taking part in a series of sponsored walks for Oxfam across the North West – raising money for countries to combat violence, poverty and to give women independence and the right to work.

The challenge is split into 13 walks – from Preston to Carlisle.

They were initially set the challenge, in jest, by local walker and author of a book entitled The North West Way, Steve Garrill.

The book features the 13 walks across the North West, which total 205 miles.

And the kind-hearted pair decided they would take on the challenge, and carry out all the walks from the book over the course of the summer, in aid of Oxfam.

They have already more than doubled their fundraising target, raising more than £515 – their original target was £200.

Hazel said: “The book takes you to upland areas of the North of England are a joy to walk.

“Using a combination of recognised long distance paths, the author traces a route from Preston to Carlisle – linking the two rail stations and along the way, passing through the most scenic and inspiring sections of these walks.

“Here you can walk through the beauty of the Ribble Valley, through the rugged dales of Yorkshire to the thundering waterfalls of Teesdale and the sheer awe of encountering High Cup before then experiencing the solitary majesty of Cross Fell and the High Pennines.

“In its final stages the walk follows the sylvan splendour of the Tyne Valley before tramping in the footsteps of the Roman Legionnaires along Hadrian’s Wall towards Carlisle.

“Steve actually donated this book to Oxfam, which we duly sold. However, he did in jest set me a challenge to complete the 13 walks in the book.

“Having talked to one of my volunteers, Heather, we decided we could do this challenge over the summer period and raise money for Oxfam.

“Steve has been a massive help, as he has driven us to the start point and picked us up at the finish.

“The weather has not been to kind to us, but we have managed to finish every section of the walk so far.

“The views are phenomenal.

“We would love people to donate to us for our walk and raise even more money for Oxfam.”

Oxfam works across the world on the issues such as fair trade, education, debt and aid, health, gender equality, conflict (campaigning for an international arms trade treaty) and natural disasters.

• Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hazel-st-john-taylor1

• The book is available direct from Steve or from Plackitt and Booth, Lytham