Meet the Action Foundation Super Steppers!

Nine staff are currently battling it out for Super Stepper status in the Step Up for Refugees Challenge – a month-long summer fundraiser aimed at getting people active at the same time as raising money to support our projects for refugees and asylum seekers across Tyne and Wear.

Joanne Reidy, our Support Work Manager for Action Housing and Action Lettings, was top of the Leader Board at the end of Week One, having got more than 100,000 steps in over the first seven days – the equivalent of around 85km or 52 miles!

Jo said: ” I decided to do the Step Up for Refugees Challenge because I really want to raise money for this fantastic charity I work with to support our clients who really deserve it. Also, I want to get fit – I’d been doing a little bit since June and it’s so good for your mental wellbeing, motivation and energy! Also, I’m feeling a little competitive and think it will be really fun and a good laugh.”

Positive vibes

Jo works two jobs (she also works for a young people’s charity in County Durham) so she goes to the gym and swims in between her shifts. “I get the gym steps in the morning, then just general walking and housework all count! When I have time, I go to the beach and countryside for nice walks which I’m going to try and do weekly. I’m keeping my motivation up by knowing how good it’s making me feel and how positive and also the fact that I want to do the most steps out of all the team!”

The other members of the team are Abi Walker, Business Development Manager; Eugenie Muhayimana, our Finance Officer; Masitano Sichone, Data Systems Officer; Helen Cowgill, Housing Services Manager; Phoebe Pham, Administrator; Emily Malcolm, our Head of Client Services; Sarah Robinson, Support Worker with our accommodation team and Pauline Holt, Communications and Events Officer.

Collectively, in the first week, the team has completed more than 566,000 steps – around 431 kilometres (267 miles)! The Challenge goes on throughout August.

Phoebe’s stepping up for refugees

Phoebe said:

“I’ve been reflecting on the difficulty of many of our clients who daily have to walk so far just to reach the classes, drop-in or other services we provide. That’s why I have signed up for this 10,000 steps per day challenge, walking alongside my clients. To be honest, for some days I was struggling to find the time for this activity. It wasn’t easy for me to keep this up on a daily basis. However, I have completed 78,070 steps for the first week of the challenge so far, equivalent to 11,152 steps per day on average. Yay! I’m heading to the second week with even more steps. Wait and see!”

Helen, meanwhile, is using her dog-walking time to clock up the steps: “I’m doing the Step Up for Refugees Challenge to get a little fitter, hopefully in the sunshine, together with my dog Doris who won’t know what’s hit her paws!”

“In a very uncertain world, together we can show that small steps do make a real difference to people’s lives.”

And Abi, who has begun walking into work rather than taking the bus, added: “I’ve worked for Action Foundation for three years and have seen first hand the positive impact that this charity makes on the lives of vulnerable refugees and asylum seekers across Tyne and Wear.

“Every donation makes a huge difference – even just £5 could provide a travel ticket which could pay for someone to attend Action Language classes or attend a GP appointment.”

If you’d like to sponsor Action Foundation’s Super Steppers, you can visit their fundraising page here.