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‘Hot’ event will provide boost for charities

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People across Stroud and beyond have been signing up for this year’s Stroud Charity Fire Walk, which takes place at Stonehouse Court Hotel in September.

The fiery event, run by fire walking experts Blaze, sees three of Stroud’s most popular charities joining forces as their brave supporters stride across the burning hot embers.

The Door supports young people and their families with mentoring and other mental health support services; Allsorts focuses on children with additional needs, providing a toy library and activity hub; and Stroud Valleys Projects works with volunteers from all walks of life to maintain and create wildlife habitats.

Mother and son team Rachael and Owen have signed up to raise money for The Door.

“I’m feeling excited and nervous but can’t wait to do the fire walk… especially with my son by my side and us cheering each other on!” says Rachael. “I’m feeling proud and honoured that he wanted to do it with me. We are facing our fears together – love it!”

“I’m feeling nervous, for obvious reasons!” adds Owen. “However, it’s for such a good cause which is encouraging me. I also know my mum will cheer me on and I’m grateful for that. I’m glad that I can do this together with my mum.”

Although most of the fire walkers are based in the local area, one couple are travelling from further afield in memory of a special person.

Wendy and Johnnie Fell are coming all the way from Pembroke to take part. Since the sudden death of their son’s partner Holly at the age of 24, they’ve been inspired to seize every opportunity that comes to live life to the full.

“We really want to do everything we can, because Holly sadly can’t be here to live her life,” explains Wendy. “So we’ve climbed Snowdon, for example, and we recently did the Brecon Horseshoe Ridge.

“I’m a bit of a scaredy cat, so I like pushing myself, and Johnnie comes along for the ride!

“We wanted to do a fire walk, so when we found out about this one, it was perfect. We’re a really tight unit and we support each other – it’s all about grabbing the things that Holly couldn’t do. She was adorable and embraced life and doing things like this reminds us how lucky we are. She loved wildlife – especially foxes! – so we’re really happy to be doing the fire walk for Stroud Valleys Project”

Wendy and Johnnie are staying at Stonehouse Court Hotel and, like the other firewalkers, they will be able to take advantage of a discount on food on the night of the fire walk: Friday 29 September. The evening will also feature live music from UkeStroud, and activities for families.

The money raised by firewalkers will go toward the three charities, each of whom supports the community in a different way.

Allsorts’ fundraising manager Rachael Fletcher explains: “Over the last five years, we’ve seen the cost of running the Activity Hub, which is our base in Stroud, increase from £100 to £160 a day. This space is vital for us as we hold many of our support groups, including weekly Toddlers sessions and our monthly Grandparents’ Group here. It also houses our wonderful Toy Library, which was set up nearly 30 years ago. If you become a fabulous Firewalker and raise funds for Allsorts, you will be helping to support the running of the Hub into 2024.”

Every penny and pound raised by this event will go straight to supporting Stroud’s local community. There are limited spaces left, so if you’re up for the challenge, you can sign up today at stroudfirewalk.com.

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