A quintet of employees from Specsavers in Barrow-in-Furness swapped their smart shoes for hiking boots recently when they took part in the 49th annual Keswick to Barrow trek, raising over £600 for its charity, the Furness Homeless Support Group.

A gruelling approach to charity work

The gruelling 40 mile hike saw Specsavers’ Andrea Wood, Emma Robinson, Stephanie Searle, Hope Greenwood and Matthew Hitchon all battle the elements to cross the finish line on Saturday 9 May after an early 5.30am start.

Committed to local fundraising

Simon Le Fever, store director at Specsavers in Barrow-in-Furness, said: ‘Once again, our employees have done us proud, raising much needed funds for an invaluable local service. Last year we had two entrants into the event, and this year, we’re delighted to see five have braved the course.

The money raised will make such a difference to the lives of those who access Furness Homeless Support Group, a charity we’ve supported for three years. Well done to all the Specsavers team who finished the punishing route – you are an inspiration!’

Supporting an invaluable charity

Pat Chapples, Manager at Furness Homeless Support Group, added: ‘Specsavers in Barrow has been a major supporter of ours for several years now, and we are extremely thankful for their hard work and dedication to helping us raise funds.

The impact fundraising such as this has on the charity, and the lives of those who rely on us, should not be underestimated. Thanks to the fantastic team of five for donating their time and energy to us – your hard work is valued by all here at Furness Homeless Support Group.’

A trek steaped in history

The Keswick to Barrow Walk was inspired by U.S President John F Kennedy’s claim in 1966 that ‘every American should be capable of walking 50 miles a day’. It started as a competition between submarine crews and shipyard workers. Since its inception in 1966 it has grown from 63 participants to consistently over 2,500.

The trek starts at Rough How Bridge, three miles south of Keswick, and proceeds over Dunmail Raise then onto the progressive ascent up the Kirby Moor, finally arriving at the Hawcoat Parks Sport Club on the outskirts of Barrow-in-Furness.

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