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NEWS: Erdington Walking Group raises hundreds for Diabetes UK at Birmingham Wellness Walk

Words by Liam Smith / Pics by Erdington Walking Group

A local walking group has raised over £350 for Diabetes UK, after taking part in the 10k Birmingham Wellness Walk last month.

Erdington Walking Group (EWG), formed in 2019, gathered in vibrant Diabetes UK t-shirts and painted faces, after taking inspiration from their Diabetes community program run from the Erdington Seventh Day Adventist Church on Wood End Lane. Led by Selina Gooden, the EWG surpassed their fundraising goal and helped support vital research and care services provided by Diabetes UK.

According to the charity, over 4.3 million people in the UK live with diabetes, with almost 14 thousand diabetes related deaths reported in 2019 alone.

Diabetes UK research further states the number of people registering with diabetes from 2020-21 rose by 148,951 from the previous year, with ‘more than 2.4 million people are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the UK’ –  with the condition leading to ‘184 amputations, more than 770 strokes, 590 heart attacks and 2,300 cases of heart failure’ every week.

EWG Leader Selina Gooden told Erdington Local: “I’m thankful to all who helped me to achieve my personal fundraising goal of £100, and due to the funds raised by the other EWG team members we were able to surpass our £100 goal by collectively raising £355 for Diabetes UK.”

Among the cheering crowd, Diabetes UK marshals offered support and encouragement along the route – with live music also adding to the festive yet fundraising atmosphere.

EWG member Hermy Skew said: “I walk daily and have been doing so for years. It helps me process my thoughts and enables my emotions to settle safely. It has kept me physically fit and psychologically resilient.

“My father passed away recently. He had diabetes and all the complications that come with chronic illnesses. A lot of my family and extended family suffer with the condition and its complications.

“Participating in the Birmingham Wellness Walk was an ideal opportunity to support research, indulge in my favourite hobby, and remember my father.

“It was an enjoyable experience, and I was touched by the support of my sponsors and well-wishers who helped me raise £115.” 

Diabetes UK Fundraising Events Manager, Rachel Coombs, added: “My heartfelt thanks to each and every person who walked, supported and fundraised. So far, the event has raised £92,000 for vital funds for the charity.”

For more on EWG visit www.facebook.com/erdingtonwalking or call Selina on 07990 109 117

PICTURE GALLERY: Council Leader meets local residents on Short Heath playing fields – 20 August

Pics by Ed King – click here to read the full feature.

PICTURE GALLERY: Erdington locals celebrate the return of Robert Wilkinson’s Family Funfair to Pype Hayes Park

Words by Liam Smith / Pics by Hannah White

Beautiful weather over the recent half term holiday saw families flock to Robert Wilkinson’s Family Funfair at Pype Hayes park.

Rides, games, prizes and food were in abundance, with the gradual easing of lockdown restrictions meaning the family favourite attraction could return to the park for the first time since 2019.

Erdington Local paid a visit to soak up the atmosphere. Whilst resisting the urge to have a go on the waltzers and dodgems, we spoke to the local residents and families who had also paid a visit.

Courtney, mother of two, told Erdington Local: “It’s lovely, it’s been very good. It’s good to finally get a good day out, it’s been horrible being stuck inside for a year so it’s nice to get out and have something for the kids to do.”

We also spoke to Lee, a staff member running one of the games at the fair. He said: “It’s brilliant to be back. It’s nice to see people out enjoying themselves again.

“We’ve all come out of lockdown and people are wanting to get out and spend their money, which is good for the fair and the community.”

Other parents we spoke to shared the sentiment, with some saying they had been “desperate to get out and do something… the kids have been looking forward to it for weeks now.

“It makes a nice change from only being able to go to school then being stuck in the house all the time.”

Louise, 25, from Pype Hayes, added: “I used to come here all of the time as a child, so for me it’s great to see it back with all of the old favourite rides here. It’s very nostalgic walking through the fair seeing kids running around having fun like we used to.

“I can’t imagine how exciting it must be especially for the younger kids who this could be their first time here. It’s nice to see smiles on everyone’s faces.”

The fair’s return was overall hugely welcomed in the area, with the organisers staying for a week longer than originanlly planned.

Robert Wilkinson’s Family Funfair has been a longstanding favourite amongst Brummies, popping up in parks across the city for the past 30 years.

Pype Hayes Park is a regular site for the family focused attraction with plans already being made to welcome back the funfair.

PICTURE GALLERY: Robert Wikinson’s Family Funfair at Pype Hayes Park – by Hannah White

For more on Robert Wilkinson’s Family Funfair at Pype Hayes Park, or to watch out for further events across the city, visit www.facebook.com/Robert-Wilkinsons-Family-Funfair-Birmingham