Our Step Up for Refugees Challenge has just over one week to go and this Friday (August 26) one of our Super Steppers, will be ‘walking in the air’ – quite literally – in a bid to boost our staff team’s fundraising.

Emily Malcolm, Action Foundation’s Head of Client Services, along with a team of volunteers from our InterAction Drop-in and our Digital Inclusion project plan to zip wire off the Tyne Bridge to Newcastle’s Quayside. Emily said:

“After setting up the chairs and tables on a Thursday morning, ready for a busy Drop-in, some of the volunteers discussed doing the zip-line together as a possible social idea.

“Someone had kindly given funding for the Drop-in volunteer socials in recognition of the great work they do every week. I got carried away with the excitement and agreed to take part…forgetting that I am actually scared of heights!

“But I will get an extra boost in my step if it can help raise money for Action Foundation! Imagine the number of steps I will do in the air from my jelly legs shaking!”

Our determined walkers have already raised an amazing £1,486 in fundraising donations.

Super Stepping!

Collectively, the Action Foundation staff team, the Super Steppers, have done an incredible 1.9 MILLION steps in the past three weeks.

Meanwhile, Elaine Thompson, an Action Language volunteer and stepper has been quietly exceeding her 8,000 steps per day target. She said:

“I just wanted to do something to support the lovely, resilient people I meet in class. I’ve been volunteering with Action Language for about five years and have seen how vital Action Foundation’s services are for refugees and asylum seekers trying to adjust to life in the UK, a long way from home.”

“I set my steps target at a fairly modest (but achievable) 8,000 per day, but with the added challenge of doing 8,000 every single day during August. I’m happy to say it’s going well: I’ve even managed some early morning (even pre-breakfast) walks.

“I don’t have a dog so it’s not something I usually do and I averaged well over 10,000 steps for both of the first two weeks.

“I’ve been delighted with the generosity of family and friends who’ve supported me with donations.”

Former RAF pilot, James Fairman, who also used to volunteer with our Action Language project, has taken more than 384,000 steps – around 326km or 202 miles.

James, who is aiming to do by far the biggest daily average – a gruelling 20,000 steps per day every day in August, shared his Top Ten things he’s learnt from the Step Up for Refugees Challenge.

James’ Top Ten Teachings

  • Seeing bats is really cool.
  • Hearing owls is really cool. (There’s a lot of wildlife about at dusk.)
  • There are a lot of paths that are difficult to find, but a bit of planning and you can do a reasonable loop without too many roads.
  • Carrying a big Maglite helps on the really dark paths, or when someone leaves their full beams on when you’re by a road, or if you think you’re about to be mugged! Good kit makes such a difference.
  • Listening to audiobooks while out walking is really good.
  • The Sum of all Fears is an excellent (if slightly anachronistic in places) novel, and very scary while a war involving a nuclear power is going on.
  • (Slightly icky one this) Removing hard skin makes your heels hurt a lot less.
  • The Northumberland night sky is incredible and reason for a holiday there on its own.
  • The sea at night, especially in heavy rain, is really scary.
  • No-one crosses the Channel, let alone the Mediterranean, in a little boat unless they are utterly desperate.

How to sponsor our steppers

If you’d like to sponsor Emily, click here

If you’d like to sponsor Elaine, click here

If you’d like to sponsor James, click here

Whoever you choose to support, your sponsorship will go towards helping refugees and asylum seekers across Tyne and Wear through our Action Foundation projects.