On the back of two successful coast-to-coast charity walks of Scotland and Ireland, James Connolly, business development manager at Celltherm Coldrooms, has launched his next cross country expedition and an appeal to raise financial support for the child bereavement charity, The Brightest Star.
Leaving the Irish Sea at Bowness on Solway in Cumbria on 8 April and arriving at King Edward’s Bay, Tynemouth, Tyne & Wear, 6 days later, Connolly and his colleagues will walk just over 144km.
They will follow all the route of Hadrian’s Wall, the famous Roman empire frontier, with construction beginning in AD122. The wall ran from Bowness to Segedunum (Wallsend) but Connolly has decided to add a coast-to-coast element to the challenge ending at the North Sea. Rumour has it if he reaches his target he has promised to swim in the sea for a short time, which at this point in the year is currently about 6°C.
He will be raising funding for a charity very close to his heart, the Brightest Star, set up to provide bereavement support and counselling to parents and siblings who have tragically lost a child.
Connolly said of the team’s past fundraising endeavours: “We have some very generous people in our industry and there are many who have already promised their donations. I would like to thank them for their kindness, generosity and continued support.”
Part of Brightest Star’s assistance is providing Memory Boxes to bereaved parents, hospitals, funeral parlours and mortuaries all over the UK. These boxes include a blanket, two small teddies (one for the parent and one for the child) a camera, an inkless kit to take the child’s hand and footprints and a small secure box to place a lock of the child hair. The box also includes information on what to do with each of the contents and a book for the parent to write memories of their child.
Every memory box includes information on how to contact the charity if the parent wishes to seek support or meet other bereaved parents.
The charity raised enough money (over 4 years) to provide a family ambulance (costing over £180,000) which now allows for families to safely travel with their seriously ill child/sibling. This has now being matched by the NHS, which will be providing another family ambulance to improve overall patient care and to support families during their most difficult of times.
Connolly is joined on the adventure by his Northumbria Walking Group colleagues, Emily Berryman and Ben Brown. Everyone is invited to join them for a day out or the whole walk if they wish.
To donate to the cause, click HERE.