Like many small charities, we have found ourselves struggling to raise the funds needed to keep up with the increasing number of requests we receive on a daily basis. But every once in a while, someone incredible steps up, takes us under their wing and pledges to raise a significant sum to help us.
On this occasion, our superhero is Chris Tait – a Northumberland based cyber security expert and Freemason who will be swapping his computer for walking boots as he takes on Africa’s highest peak, Mount Kilimanjaro, in a bid to raise more than £5,000 for the Trust. Chris said,
“Last year was the 300th anniversary of English freemasonry and to celebrate Northumberland Freemasons gave £300,000 to local charities in Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland. At the end of last year, I found out about the important work that Josie’s Dragonfly Trust does through a friend who was linked to the charity.
“I was amazed at how they help young people with limited time make memories – it’s not about holidays or meeting pop stars – it’s about family and loved ones, creating lasting memories together.”
To prepare for the mammoth five-day trek, Chris has been practising in the Cheviot Hills and he recently tackled Britain’s highest peak Ben Nevis at a mere 1345m accompanied by some of his colleagues from Lodge Temperance in Newcastle.
“Ben Nevis was very challenging especially in the searing heat but I kept thinking that every step I took is going to help someone less fortunate than myself. When faced with the news that a young patient has very limited time, one of the most important things is that they can leave their footprint on the world. I was incredibly proud to leave my footprint at the top of Ben Nevis for them and fly the flags of both the Trust and the Northumberland Freemasons.”
Chris has been assisted in his fundraising by many masonic lodges in the county.
“I’ve received cheques and messages of good luck from lodges from Berwick to Newcastle and beyond. Everyone has seen the great work the trust does and wants to help and I am very grateful for every donation made no matter how small.”
While Chris is tackling Africa’s highest peak, there are other upcoming opportunities for you to follow in his footsteps and help to raise vital funds.
We have selected the most memorable section of Hadrian’s Wall to offer a fantastic weekend challenge on 15th and 16th September. The route will start at Gilsland in Cumbria and finish in the village of Chollerford near Hexham, with an overnight stay at The Sill – a new landscape discovery centre which opened last summer.
Participants can take on the whole weekend (approx. 22 miles), or join on Sunday for the final 12 miles. We’re encouraging supporters to put their best foot forward to help us grant special requests for young cancer patients with limited time.
Weekend Challenge: £30 registration + £99 sponsorship
Sunday Challenge: £10 registration + £30 sponsorship
With thanks to Keith Newman, Highlights PR (highlightspr.co.uk)