Doncaster residents urged to get behind fundraising challenge for slavery survivors

Doncaster residents are being urged to back a fundraising challenge for survivors of modern slavery this summer.

By Darren Burke
Tuesday, 10th May 2022, 3:53 pm

The Sofa to Summit challenge is calling on people to cover the 25 miles of the Yorkshire Three Peaks to raise money for survivors of slavery in South Yorkshire.

Anti-slavery charity City Hearts is asking supporters to run, walk, cycle, or swim the equivalent distance of the Yorkshire Three Peaks in seven days or less – that’s 25.5 miles!

There’s also an ‘in-person’ trek across the peaks of Pen-y-Ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside in the Yorkshire Dales, planned for Saturday, July 9, which is open to the public.

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City Hearts staff and supporters, Steve Watson, Jess Bramhall, Alice Hopkinson, Beth Thomas-Braithwaite

An early bird sign up price of £25pp is available until June 12 with discount code CHHEROES.

Last year’s successful Sofa to Summit event saw City Hearts staff and supporters raise £30,000, by virtually tackling the 56 miles to the summit of Kilimanjaro around their own towns. The money raised went towards the creation of a Restoration Hub, a place where care items for survivors could be collected and distributed more easily.

This year’s event aims to raise £30,000 for an Integration Support Department, which looks after the long-term emotional needs of survivors of Modern Slavery.

The department runs programmes aimed at increasing the confidence, self-worth, and resilience of survivors, so they are able to navigate the world more safely and independently.

City Hearts staff member Jess Bramhall, who lives near Sheffield is busy training for the trek across the Yorkshire Three Peaks in July, and is keen for as many people as possible to get involved.

She has worked with survivors of slavery around South Yorkshire for nine years, and knows the difference that consistent, caring, and high-quality support, can have on the outcome of a survivor’s long-term recovery.

She said: “The survivors we work with have all been through some awful experiences. Often when they first arrive in our service, they have immediate needs such as shelter, food, health care and legal advice.

"Once these urgent requirements are met, they then have to work through extreme, and often prolonged, trauma.

"Our clients want to get their lives on track and start living rather than just existing.

"Something as simple as a trip to the seaside can help provide a break from the daily challenges they face. We want to provide the care and support they need for the long term so they can reach their full potential and live the fulfilled lives they deserve.”

Head of Fundraising at City Hearts, Beth Thomas-Braithwaite, who lives in Sprotbrough, Doncaster, is also busy training for the trek across the Yorkshire peaks.

“I run with the Broddy Pit Top Runners regularly,” she said. “And I love walking around Doncaster and in the Peak District, but I’m still nervous about covering 25.5 miles in 12 hours!

“I would urge as many people as possible to take part in Sofa to Summit. It’s heart-breaking to know that so many people in the UK have had their basic human rights taken away from them. Getting involved in Sofa to Summit and fundraising, not only allows City Hearts to deliver life changing work, but it opens up the conversation around the issue of Modern Slavery in the UK.

“You don’t have to cover the whole distance in one go- take your time, do it with friends. Any fundraising is good fundraising!”

City Hearts currently runs five safe houses across South Yorkshire for people rescued from modern slavery situations such as forced labour, forced sexual labour, forced criminal activity, and domestic servitude, as well as supporting 71 people in outreach programmes across the region.

To register for Sofa to Summit, or to find out more, click here: