Disabled fundraisers complete Letchworth Greenway wheelchair challenge to help end modern slavery
- Credit: Archant
Two women battling multiple sclerosis were wheelchaired around the Letchworth Greenway at the weekend to raise £1,000 to help end modern slavery.
Clare Oakley and Ruth Green – who have both lived with MS for many years, and use wheelchairs – completed the 13.6-mile challenge to support anti-trafficking charity Hope for Justice.
Government figures suggest that there are at least 10,000 people held as slaves in the UK at any one time – and Clare and Ruth wanted to make a difference in helping to rescue them, feeling they could no longer sit back and let it go on.
Ruth told the Comet: “I think life is for living and I’m going to do just that. I’ve been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis for over 25 years.
“Life isn’t always a bed of roses, but equally I know it could be worse. I’ve got so much to be grateful for. I try to focus on what I can do rather than what I can’t.
“While on this road of the unknown and discovery, I want to plant seeds of good all around, wherever I may go. This pathway leads to helping others – so I decided to raise awareness and funds for Hope for Justice, fighting against modern-day slavery.
“It breaks my heart to know that these conditions still exist in this society. I could no longer sit back, view these atrocious sights and remain silent. I had to do something about it.
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“Let’s put a full stop to human trafficking, and set people like you and I free.”
Ruth and Clare have raised at least £1,000 by completing the challenge, with more set to be collected.
They were pushed around the Greenway by Letchworth Abolition Group, a team of Hope for Justice supporters based at Letchworth Garden City Church in Icknield Way.
Ruth said: “I had a glorious time being pushed around the Greenway – encountering rough terrain, diverse weather conditions and a bone-shaking ride.”
Clare added: “Being in a wheelchair makes getting into the countryside difficult – so to be pushed around the Greenway by friends for a very good cause made for a very memorable day.”
Hope for Justice, which is based in Manchester, has rescued more than 350 victims of modern slavery in the UK in the past three years. It also operates in the United States, Norway and Cambodia.
Charity spokesman Adam Hewitt said: “This was a fantastic fundraising effort by Letchworth Abolition Group.
“Their efforts are a key part of our movement to bring an end to modern slavery by rescuing victims, restoring lives, and reforming society.
“The money raised will help fund freedom by supporting our specialist investigators, lawyers, social workers and other professionals – who are on the frontlines, fighting modern slavery and trafficking every single day.”
You can still make a donation to the team’s fundraising at justgiving.com/clare-oakley4.
To find out more about the charity and its work, see hopeforjustice.org.