Sunderland charity branch’s future in doubt unless new volunteers can be found

A group of walkers who were among those taking part in the Seaburn Stroll Jim Clarke Memorial Walk in aid of the British Heart Foundation.
A group of walkers who were among those taking part in the Seaburn Stroll Jim Clarke Memorial Walk in aid of the British Heart Foundation.
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There is still time to sign up for a charity walk and help out a health heart organisation on Wearside - which is also in urgent need of new members.

This year’s Seaburn Stroll in aid of the Sunderland branch of the British Heart Foundation (BHF) takes place on Sunday, September 25.

Starting at 10am at the Seaburn Centre and the walk commencing at 10.45am, the event is a gentle two-mile stroll along the seafront up to Whitburn and back through the park.

The walk is suitable for all ages and those with children in pushchairs and wheelchairs as the route is flat.

The stroll has grown in popularity over the years, with last year’s event raising £2,000 for the charity.

However, branch secretary Michael Roper says that the branch is in urgent need of new blood.

“We are still a few walkers short of the magic 40 so if anyone would like to sign up we’d really appreciate it,” said Michael, who suffered from his own heart problems

“We also have a desperate need for new volunteers for the branch, especially young people with fresh ideas.

“I’m very worried that if we cannot recruit new members the branch may cease to exist, which would be a great shame for all of the fund-raising we do.”

The charity has this year been fund-raising to reach £40,000 to celebrate the organisation’s 40th anniversary.

“To date we are just over that target,” added Michael.

“This has been achieved with the help and support of people like Lynn and Susan Mearns who have been fund-raising champions for both the Sunderland branch and the BHF.

“Lynn along with John Bainbridge and branch members Hilda Ayre and Liz Parkinson organised a 40th Anniversary charity night which included buffet, entertainment, tombola and raffle, prizes and venue.

“This event raised a truly superb £1,070 and to say we are thankful is a understatement.

“Also the Avenue Pharmacy, Dixon’s Pharmacy, Louis’s in Park Lane and Ford Post Office have supported us along with Asda Grangetown and Morrisons, Doxford Park, who allow us to hold collections.

“With their support and the generosity of the folk of Sunderland we can proudly say thank you to you all for helping us try to reach our target.”

Those wanting to take part in the Seaburn Stroll should email mickroper1950@hotmail.co.uk for more information and to get a registration form.