Walking barefoot over hot coals to raise money for domestic abuse charity

Great Yarmouth Borough Council leader Trevor Wainwright baring his "soles" ahead of the firewalk in

Great Yarmouth Borough Council leader Trevor Wainwright baring his "soles" ahead of the firewalk in aid of Leeway. - Credit: Archant

Brave 'soles' have signed up to tackle a firewalk to help raise funds for domestic abuse charity Leeway.

And among those taking the charity challenge of walking over hot coals will be a team from Great Yarmouth Borough Council, including leader Cllr Trevor Wainwright.

The firewalk will be held in the Market Place on Thursday, November 27, part of the Norfolk Says No to domestic abuse campaign, running from November 24 to 28.

Leeway provides a range of services for men, women and children experiencing domestic abuse across Norfolk, including community services, emergency refuges, services for children and young people, advocacy, male victim support and a telephone helpline.

Cllr Wainwright did not hesitate to sign up when he was asked to to traverse the glowing embers as part of the fundraiser, which starts at 6pm.

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He said: 'The work of charities like Leeway are vital in tackling domestic violence, which is often hidden from public view. In the last year, Leeway supported 377 people in Great Yarmouth alone, including 107 young children.

'In recent weeks, I've been whipping around the Town Hall with my sponsorship form, gaining pledges from fellow councillors and senior council officers.

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'As a council leader, I'm used to my feet being held to the fire, figuratively speaking. But I'm still glad we're all receiving expert training, before the firewalk, to give us the belief and power to face the heat in the flesh.'

Christina Webb, the council leader's PA, said: 'The leader said that if I made it across then he would go straight after. I've often said I would walk across fire for the leader and now I have the chance to prove it, while raising money and awareness for a worthy cause.'

Jane Beck, the director of customer services, who was also recruited into Team GY by Cllr Wainwright, said: 'I'm rather nervous about the challenge and I'm not re-assured by the information pack for participants, which advises that we must sign a legal disclaimer saying we fully understand that fire-walking is potentially dangerous.

'However, I'm determined to go ahead with it and raise sponsorship and awareness to help in the important battle against domestic violence.'

Donna Summers, the group manager for resources, who will be the first of Team GY to step out, added: 'I will be doing it for the wonderful people in my life who have suffered domestic abuse.'

As part of the Norfolk Says No campaign, Great Yarmouth Borough Council, supported by operational partner GYB Services Ltd, will jet-wash 'clean graffiti' on pavements across the borough with messages about domestic violence.

The borough council will also have a public stand with information about the campaign.

To find out how to take part in the barefoot walk over hot coals, call 07775334958 or email fundraising@leewaynwa.org.uk.

Leeway runs a refuge for domestic abuse victims in Yarmouth.

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