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Feel the burn! Charities team up for scorching fundraiser

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If you’ve ever seen barefooted daredevils walking across searing hot coals with barely a flinch and thought, ‘I could do that!’, three Stroud charities are offering you the chance to put your money where your mouth is… and put your best foot forward!

This September, The Door, Allsorts and Stroud Valleys Project are teaming up with Blaze Firewalking and Stonehouse Court Hotel for a scorching hot event to raise money for the three charities, each of which works to improve the lives of local people.

Supporters can recreate those breathtaking scenes and walk over hot coals to raise money for their chosen charity.

What’s more, the team at Stonehouse Court, where the fire walk will take place, are offering a 15 per cent discount on their delicious food to everyone who comes along to support a fire walker.

Stonehouse Court Hotel is a magnificent stone-built manor house which backs onto the Stroudwater Navigation Canal at St Cyr’s Church. The fire walk will take place in the large lawned garden to the rear of the hotel, and it’s being sponsored by solicitors Irwin Mitchell.

The hotel’s sales and events manager Gemma Phillips said: “It’s great to be welcoming these fantastic charities to our historical manor house, and we’re delighted to provide the setting for brave fundraisers to face their fears and walk over hot coals!

“We’re pleased to be able to offer a discount on our delicious homecooked food for them, their families and friends for what should be a fabulous community evening.”

Kate Easy of Irwin Mitchell adds: “At Irwin Mitchell, we’re committed to supporting our local community, so we’re delighted to be part of this charity fire walk, raising funds for three charities that work so hard for the people of Stroud and beyond.”

Musical entertainment will be provided by UkeStroud, and there will be family-friendly activities, prizes and games.

Each of the three charities taking part supports Stroud’s community in a different way.

Allsorts provides a programme of fun activities for children and young adults with additional needs and their families in Gloucestershire. The Stroud-based charity has an inclusive Activity Hub which includes a Toy Library and Sensory Room. Allsorts members can borrow a wide range of specialist toys and equipment and meet with other families.

The Door supports young people and parents to overcome challenges by providing them with a safe space to be heard and empowering them to take positive steps towards their future. This is achieved through youth clubs, mentoring, support groups and more. The charity currently supports over 250 individuals every week on a one-to-one basis with many more attending youth clubs across the district.

Stroud Valleys Project works with communities on conservation and wildlife habitat maintenance projects across the district. From building an eel ‘staircase’ at Arundel Mill Pond to planting over 5,000 native trees across the district; from monitoring Great Crested Newts across the area to working with the community at Prinknash Abbey Walled Garden, each of SVP’s projects supports local people to work together for nature.

The Door and Allsorts have taken part in a fire walk previously – and they’re raring to go again.

“We are so excited to be holding this fundraiser again this year,” said Rachael Fletcher of Allsorts.

“It’s always a fun event and gives those taking part a huge sense of personal achievement. In 2021, the Allsorts fundraisers collectively raised over £6,000, which was amazing. It would great if we could raise this amount this year, which would help support the running of our Activity Hub for six weeks.”

The Door’s Anne Townsend said: “At The Door we are all about helping people make the next step forwards, no matter how big or small. Sometimes putting one foot in front of another can feel like the biggest challenge without the floor being covered in hot coals! By taking part in this fire walk and getting sponsored for The Door, the funds you raise will go straight towards helping vulnerable young people and their families take their first steps towards a brighter future.”

“This is a new experience for us!” said Clare Mahdiyone, CEO of Stroud Valleys Project. “It should be a lot of fun, and we’re looking forward to getting together in Stonehouse for a night of fun. We’re hoping to raise funds to support a couple of our volunteer-powered projects, including restoration work along the banks of the River Frome in central Stroud.”

The event will be overseen by Blaze Firewalking, the county’s leading fire walk organisers, who have been running fire walking events since 1984.

If you’d like to challenge yourself and take part in the fire walk, visit stroudfirewalk.com and select the charity you’d like to support.

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