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Women's sponsored 20-mile walk around Bishop's Stortford raises £10,000 for breast cancer charity




A group of 30 women who walked 20 miles around the outskirts of Bishop's Stortford, enduring scorching temperatures and blisters, raised £10,140 for Breast Cancer Now.

Organisers Gill Blair-Park, 49, her sister Annice Osborne, 46, and friend Katie Dearman staged the Covid-safe event in memory of the sisters' mother, Connie, who died with the disease 17 years ago aged 61. To date, they have amassed more than £60,000 for the charity.

The walkers set off from St James the Great Church in Thorley at 8.30am on Saturday June 5. The line of women dressed in pink made their way along a circular off-road route which took them to Gaston Green, Birchanger, Hazel End and across country to Bury Green, Green Tye and back to the church.

Great St James Church, Thorley, Bishop's Stortford. Ladies setting off on walk to raise cash for Breast Cancer Research. l-r: Gill Blair-Park, Annice Osborn and Katie Dearman. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (48454419)
Great St James Church, Thorley, Bishop's Stortford. Ladies setting off on walk to raise cash for Breast Cancer Research. l-r: Gill Blair-Park, Annice Osborn and Katie Dearman. .Pic: Vikki Lince. (48454419)

Gill, of Alder Close, said the support they received en route had been incredible, including friends and family who staged refreshment stops, sponsors, pubs the Three Willows in Birchanger, the Three Horseshoes at Hazel End and the Prince of Wales in Tye Green and even passers-by who stopped to donate money.

"The idea was to raise awareness of breast cancer in Bishop's Stortford and to raise money at the same time," said Gill. "Although it was a hot day, the ground was very wet from where it had been raining and the first part of the walk was hard work. By the time we got to 15 miles we were all feeling it and the blisters had started for some people."

At the 18-mile stop family and friends gathered to cheer on the group and met them as they returned to the church at around 5.30pm with a welcome glass of Prosecco.

Great St James Church, Thorley, Bishop's Stortford. Ladies setting off on walk to raise cash for Breast Cancer Research. ..Pic: Vikki Lince. (48454447)
Great St James Church, Thorley, Bishop's Stortford. Ladies setting off on walk to raise cash for Breast Cancer Research. ..Pic: Vikki Lince. (48454447)

"We all had pink T-shirts on and people commented how lovely it was to see a string of pink going across the fields!" said Gill.

"The support the girls offered each other was amazing. Having been in lockdown and not been able to socialise, which is hard for many women, this walk was a time to talk and laugh and have fun together."

Jade Lowe, community fundraising manager at the charity, said: "The Bishop's Stortford ladies have raised an incredible amount that will make a real difference to the lives of everyone affected by breast cancer. We cannot thank them enough for their support and they should be really proud of themselves."



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