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Councillors launch 365km walking challenge to raise money for foodbank supplies

PUBLISHED: 15:24 21 May 2020 | UPDATED: 15:48 21 May 2020

Colleen Walker said she was happy she could take part in the challenge from the comfort of her garden. Photo: Colleen Walker

Colleen Walker said she was happy she could take part in the challenge from the comfort of her garden. Photo: Colleen Walker

Archant

A group of Labour county councillors will be walking, running and crawling as part of a 10-day 365km challenge to raise money for foodbanks.

Terry Jermy will be taking part in the Labour Group's 365km challenge. Photo: Terry JermyTerry Jermy will be taking part in the Labour Group's 365km challenge. Photo: Terry Jermy

Starting on May 22, 10 Norfolk County Council Labour councillors will be clocking up 3.6km a day in any way they can in order to meet the 365km target by May 31.

Given that some are shielding, some are over 70 and one councillor has a serious lung condition, those involved can use “inventive” ways to reach their daily quota.

The idea is to raise enough money to stock up on foodbank supplies for the whole year - and not just over the lockdown period.

According to Mike Smith-Clare, who represents Yarmouth Nelson and Southtown, councillors will be using apps like Fitbit and Strava to prove they have done their daily kilometre count, and live updates will be posted on the Labour group’s Facebook page.

Mike Smith-Clare, Great Yarmouth councillor, said it was important we recognise foodbanks don't just need help during the pandemic, but all year round. Photo: Mike Smith-ClareMike Smith-Clare, Great Yarmouth councillor, said it was important we recognise foodbanks don't just need help during the pandemic, but all year round. Photo: Mike Smith-Clare

He said: “It will be a virtual journey, representing not just the number of days a year in which people are dependent on foodbanks, but also the huge distance we cover every week as part of our Food Out Friday initiative.

“Sadly, the truth is that foodbank use will not diminish once the pandemic is over, and we want to raise enough money to make sure that this initiative can carry on as long as there’s a need.”

Terry Jermy, who represents Thetford West, said: “Sadly, Thetford foodbank services are required all year round and demand has been increasing - particularly so through the Covid-19 crisis.

“The county labour group has been a tremendous help for foodbanks across Norfolk over the last few months and hopefully this latest effort will continue that.”

Likewise, Steve Morphew, who is in Catton Grove, said: “Supporting communities is what we do. Lots of people have gone the extra mile during this emergency and us going those extra kilometres is a celebration of that spirit.

“We want to make sure absolutely nobody in Norfolk goes hungry.”

Colleen Walker, whose division is Magdalen and who is a former Yarmouth mayor, said she was “proud and happy to participate in the 365 challenge” given that her contact with the outside world has been very limited over the course of lockdown.

Steve Morphew said the challenge was a reflection of all the help communities have provided for one another during the lockdown. Photo: Steve MorphewSteve Morphew said the challenge was a reflection of all the help communities have provided for one another during the lockdown. Photo: Steve Morphew

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She said: “Due to my medical issues I cannot get out of my home environment - but I will be doing 3.6k for 10 days around my garden and house.”

Volunteers at Norwich foodbank pack food parcels, more families are recieving parcels than before coronavirus. Picture: Ruth LawesVolunteers at Norwich foodbank pack food parcels, more families are recieving parcels than before coronavirus. Picture: Ruth Lawes

More people are relying on foobanks than ever before. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYMore people are relying on foobanks than ever before. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY


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