Local legends complete epic four-year fundraiser covering nearly 25,000 miles

The seven-strong group aged from 42 to 80 embarked on their mission in 2020 to help Save the Children

A group of dedicated charity volunteers are set to complete an epic four-year fundraiser covering nearly 25,000 miles – the same distance as the circumference of the globe. The seven-strong group aged from 42 to 80 embarked on the gruelling mission in 2020 to help Save the Children.

The group, who met through volunteering for the international children’s charity, have walked, run, cycled, swum, skied and even completed three miles in a coracle boat in order to achieve their 24,901-mile goal. On February 10 the fundraisers will take on the final mile of their virtual journey together through Balsall Common, finishing with a special celebration with their proud friends and families.

They initially had the aim to ‘walk to Syria’, but after completing that challenge and “arriving”, they decided to increase their journey’s end goal. In 2022, they collectively covered enough miles in the UK to see them virtually ‘arrive’ in Auckland, New Zealand. They then carried on via Samoa, Belize City, Miami, Columbia, New York, Nuuk (Greenland), Reykjavik and Torshavn (Faroe Islands), before finishing back to the UK.

The group have had to battle a global pandemic and wild weather – and one also welcomed a baby. Helen Price, who gave birth last year, continued the challenge throughout her pregnancy.

One of the fundraisers, Nigel Briggs, said: “After four years we can’t quite believe our challenge to virtually travel the globe is coming to an end and we are so excited to be on the home straight, finishing where it all started, in Balsall Common. The purpose of this was to have fun, keep fit but most importantly raise as much money for Save the Children as possible.

“Since we started, wars have begun and been raging in Ukraine, Gaza and Sudan, and that’s alongside the desperate ongoing crises in Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan and elsewhere. The struggles and disasters we see on the news every day have kept us motivated when the challenge has felt impossible at times.

“We are aiming to raise £5,000 so please do help us reach it if you can, and if you are free on the 10th of February do join in and cheer us over the finish line!”

The challenge began after one member of the group, health worker Julia Greensall, visited India in 2013. Alongside five other health workers, she explored Save the Children’s community health work in rural communities in Delhi. On her return to the UK, she joined the local fundraising team in Balsall Common and became a volunteer.

Fidelma Meehan, Community Fundraising & Engagement Manager, Save the Children UK said: “We are incredibly grateful to the group from Balsall Common for taking on such a big challenge to raise funds for Save the Children. Their determination and commitment to raising funds for children who need our support the most, means we can carry out life changing work for children across the globe.