Friends’ boost for charity

Julie Hardaker and Ruth Stephens (wearing sashes) with supporters. Picture: Victor Omono.
Julie Hardaker and Ruth Stephens (wearing sashes) with supporters. Picture: Victor Omono.
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Friends have raised more than £1,000 for a children’s charity with a six-day sponsored walk.

Ruth Stephens and Julie Hardaker, from Methley, completed the Leeds Country Way to boost funds for Give a Duck.

The pals, who are both regulars at Methley’s RiversMeet café, were challenged by the establishment’s proprietor, Joanne Plenderleith, to walk the 62 miles of the popular country walk to raise money for the Leeds-based charity.

Funds raised will be used to buy specially adapted cuddly ducks, which are used as a teaching aid and companion for children undergoing chemotherapy.

Volunteers at the café meet once a month to sew, knit and crochet outfits for each child to choose from to dress their duck. The ducks are a great comfort tool, and are used for play therapy to support and educate children and their families during diagnosis and treatment.

Julie, 47, said: “Myself and Ruth were talking about doing a walk and we thought, what better thing could we do it for than the local charity. I found the walk quite pleasurable. It was a joy because we knew the cause we were doing it for and we knew the smiles we were putting on children’s faces.”

The mum-of-four added: “I would wake up on a morning excited to go. You would think you would be tired but I wasn’t tired. To go out every day and to see different scenery and the changing of the colours was unbelievable. The support we have had has been fantastic. Thanks to the support of local businesses every single penny raised will go to the charity.”

Julie and Ruth were joined by friends and family along the way. They are still raising funds with a raffle which will be held on June 30.