Published by Alison Gittins

A group of walkers, trekking 172 miles for charity, will be taking a well-deserved pit stop at one of the North East’s best loved lumley-castle-logohotels.

Friends, Paul Taft, Phil Barker, Mark Deleon and Julie Ridley aim to walk from Huddersfield to Sunderland to raise funds for 4Louis; a charity which provides memory boxes to the families of stillborn and neo-natal death babies.

The group, called Walk4Louis, will set off from the Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice, Huddersfield, on 23 June and hopes to arrive at Sunderland Royal Hospital on 2 July.

And, as they approach the final leg of their 10-day trek, they have been invited to recharge their batteries at Lumley Castle Hotel, Chester-le-Street.

Lumley CastleNot only has the hotel offered to host them free of charge on their last night on the road, but staff will join them for the final, five-mile stretch of their journey.

“As soon as we heard about their walk – which is for a truly worthwhile cause – we wondered what we could do to help,” said director of sales, Tina Lowes. “And joining them for the last few miles seemed the best way to show our support.”

This will be the seventh long distance walking challenge the group has undertaken on behalf of the charity, whose Sweet Dream keepsake boxes are supplied to hospitals and hospices.

The boxes are provided free of charge and contain a variety of items including a clay impression kit, to capture an impression of babies’ hands and feet; a card, so the family can write a poem or letter to their baby, a curl box, to hold a lock of its hair, and an acknowledgement of life certificate.

“We have already completed six walks, totalling 929 miles so far,” said group member, Phil, “and, in doing so, have raised more than £28,000 for the charity. “During the course of our walk we will be visiting some of the 180 hospitals and hospices that support the charity and, by the time we get to Lumley Castle, we will be more than ready to kick off our shoes and get our heads down. It’s great that some of the Lumley staff will be there to support us for the last few miles – it’s that sort of support that motivates us to keep going.”

For more information call 0191 389 1111 or visit www.lumleycastle.com.