In celebration of Durham City Rugby Football Clubs’ 150th anniversary and to raise money for St Cuthbert’s Hospice, a group of six friends from Durham are planning on walking to every affiliated rugby club in County Durham this autumn.
The walk will take 5 days, covering around 200 miles and the group plans on visiting 30 clubs around the region, between the old county boundaries from the Tyne to the Tees, visiting the coast to western outposts at Barnard Castle and Consett.
Each team member will walk at least a marathon a day, for five days.
Friends Steve Meikle, Mark Berriman, Andy Black, Mike Hay, Chris Mattison and Neil Dracup, will set off from Durham City Rugby Club on Wednesday 27th September walking through to Houghton, Washington, Chester le Street and finishing day one in Consett. Day two will see the group follow the Tyne and Wear rivers from Consett to Sunderland. On day three the group will journey south along the North East coast, visiting Seaham, Peterlee & Horden, Hartlepool and Seaton Carew before moving inland to finish at Stockton. Day four will follow the Tees River from Stockton inland to Barnard Castle. On the final day, Sunday 1st October, the walkers will set off from Barnard Castle and visit Bishop Auckland, Newton Aycliffe and Sedgefield, before returning home to Durham City Rugby Football Club.
To keep morale up the group will be joined by friends and family at various sections of the trek as ‘guest walkers’, alongside some staff from St Cuthbert’s. The group also plan to visit some of the Hospice’s charity shops as they walk around the region.
Steve Meikle, charity fundraiser for St Cuthbert’s Hospice has been supporting the local charity for over 5 years and has raised nearly £50,000 by taking part in the Great North Run and helping to organise the friends’ last big fundraiser where they walked from ‘the Forth to St Cuth’s’ in 2021, walking 220 miles from the Forth Road Bridge in Scotland to St Cuthbert’s Hospice based in Durham City.
Quote from Steve Meikle:
“Another big challenge, our third team walk in five years for the hospice and this time celebrating our rugby club's 150th birthday! We had fantastic support last time, raised a lot of money and we really hope we can do it again. Please donate, please join us on a leg or two or be at Durham City Rugby Club on 1st October as we hopefully complete our walk with a beer or two!”
All members of Walk 150 have family or someone close to them who have experienced the care provided by St Cuthbert’s Hospice and it’s a cause close to their hearts. The charity make no charge for their care and rely on the public to help raise over £2 million needed each year.
Jade McArdle, Community and Events Manager for St Cuthbert’s Hospice:
“We are absolutely blown away by the lengths that Steve and the team go to in order to raise funds for the Hospice. This ‘Walk 150’ challenge is very demanding but the whole of the Hospice are behind them and we already have a number of staff wanting to join them on parts of the walk’ including me! An amazing amount was raised back in 2021 as part of the ‘Forth to St Cuth’s’ challenge and I am very excited to see what they achieve this year.”