A group of Notts bank workers have walked more than the length of a marathon while socially distancing to raise money for Notts children’s charity Operation Orphan.
The team, made up of workers from various roles across different branches of Halifax in Nottingham, arranged to walk from branch to branch on Thursday (December 10).
The route started at Operation Orphan’s headquarters in Attenborough, and saw the group stop off at locations in Arnold, Beeston and West Bridgford among others.
Operation Orphan is a local children’s charity which aims to improve the quality of life for orphans and vulnerable children.
Mortgage adviser Gemma Cook is one of those behind the idea, and set out initially to raise £500.
But even before the money from collection boxes which the walkers carried around with them is counted, the Christmas Jumper Marathon Walk has raised more than £1,200 as it stands.
Gemma said: “I certainly have a special connection to the charity, I think what they do is fantastic.
“They can name individual children all over the world that they’ve helped; it’s not just a charity black hole where you don’t know where your money is going, it can literally change a child’s life.”
Before the walk, Gemma said she felt ‘terrified’ at the prospect, but wanted to challenge herself and colleagues because of how the charity and local families have been affected by the pandemic.
She said: “COVID is putting more families into poverty here in the UK so the need for help is greater.
“It’s been really nice to be able to do something while keeping everyone safe.”
Banking consultant Matt Ball took part in the walk too, and said it was a case of ‘blood, sweat and tears’ throughout.
He said: “For the final ten miles, my calves were in agony… It felt like they were on fire!
“But it’s my biggest accomplishment of the year – when I finished, I felt overwhelmed and had to sit down and think to myself, ‘Wow, I’ve done it’.
“I wanted to do it because of the charity involved and it’s for such a good cause – and it’s not to tick a box, this is important for other people and their lives.
“I hope it will make a real difference to the kids who have had an awful year, and potentially dread Christmas because they don’t have some of the things that we take for granted.”
Bank manager Lloyd Houston took part in the walk too, and described the opportunity to walk the distance of a marathon as ‘bucket list stuff’.