Hats off to Uttlesford women who led charity walk around Hatfield Forest

PUBLISHED: 10:14 04 October 2017

Organisers  Symone White and Karen Thompsonat the start of the walk. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Organisers Symone White and Karen Thompsonat the start of the walk. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Saffron Photo 2017

A charity walk for the breast cancer charity, Together in West Essex on Sunday, October 1 has raised £5,000 and still counting.

Setting off, walkers at the start and finish line. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO Setting off, walkers at the start and finish line. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

On a bright autumn day, some 224 people including children and together with family dogs, set off through Hatfield Forest.

The charity, which has raised £375,000 in fund-raising events across the world since it because 14 years ago, supplies equipment for the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow and funds research at St Margaret’s Hospital, Epping.

Everyone who entered the walk received a free hat supplied by GR8 Equipment Hire. Walkers are invited to place pictures of the hat on Facebook and every week up until next year, the company will give the charity £50 in the name of the person who gets the most likes for an unusual or amusing picture. Last year (when the event was a 10K run) this added £1,500 to the money raised when people, literally, let their imagination go to their head. Last year saw hats in Hollywood, The Falklands, Thailand and Atlantic, worn by dogs and horses as well as people.

The charity began in 2003, started by Symone White from Takeley and Karen Thompson from Duton Hill. Symone was in hospital with breast cancer that year and Karen, who was primary school teacher to Symone’s sons (now aged 21 and 26) visited her. A surgeon said the hospital needed money and Symone said: “I’ll ask Mrs Thompson.”

On a beautiful autumn day, families set off waving pink balloons. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO On a beautiful autumn day, families set off waving pink balloons. Picture: SAFFRON PHOTO

Karen was deputy headteacher at Takeley Primary School. This year, she took part in the walk despite having her arm in a sling having broken her collar bone.

Symone said: “The walk was absolutely lovely. We had double the number we expected taking part, lots of families and lots of dogs. It was a really lovely day.”

Next year, in October 2018, they are leading 20 people on a fundraising sponsored trek in Madagascar.

Symone said: “We have been to so many places in the world we are having to think up new ones to visit.”

See the charity’s website for more details.

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