Bringing people together and supporting Sheffield’s many, varied communities.
That is one of our many aims at The Star and we certainly made huge steps during The Star Walk on Sunday.
There have been many changes at your local newspaper over the last few weeks but it was great to bring back one of our popular traditions.
The challenge for 2013 was just a mile lap of Hillsborough Park and I am the first to admit that doesn’t push many people to their physical limit.
However, when you include the eldest and the youngest of us, it does – and the whole point was to be as inclusive as possible.
Ages ranged from 10 months to 95 years with plenty of generations in between.
There were prams and wheelchairs alongside plenty of impressive fancy dress outfits including several mini superheroes.
And that was the whole point.
People who hadn’t seen each other for ages came together and many did it in memory of family members who are no long with us.
As you’ll know we were raising money for the Women of Steel Statue Appeal so it was vital we did something that the women themselves could join in with.
They tackled the mile with great gusto alongside their huge families – with some bringing as many as 50 relatives, friends and supporters on the day.
It was fun for all and we have had lots of the walkers get in touch since to say how much they enjoyed it.
We will let you know our grand total as soon as it has been confirmed – in the meantime, please don’t forget to return your sponsorship money as soon as possible. You can send it to us here at The Star via our shop on York Street, or pop a cheque in the post, made payable to Sheffield Newspapers.
Not only was it great to see hundreds of Star readers turn out for the event but lots of people made donations even when they couldn’t make it on the day.
It was also brilliant that so many volunteers turned out including schoolchildren and students.
And every penny raised will go straight to the statue appeal because of the generosity of firms and charities across Sheffield.
The most obvious were FastPrint who created our race numbers and Rosalind Watchorn solicitors who sponsored the walk.
Also Hillsborough Sports Arena, which gave us the perfect venue and Sheffield Council for their support, especially the many councillors who took part.
But we also got a lot of help behind the scenes, including Carla McGreevy of Celebrations-Balloons.com who created the eye-catching start line, and John Lewis which donated the prize for the winner.
In terms of entertainment Activity Sheffield got everyone going with their warm-up, Derek Naylor provided music through his barrel organ and there were fun things for the children thanks to Elizabeth Beighton at PAA-Fancy Pants.
The Fire and Police Museum provided vintage vehicles as well as a bouncy castle.
Even St John Ambulance gave First Aid cover without charging while Hillsborough and Owlerton Local History Group created a fascinating display.
So it truly was a day for a great Sheffield cause given true Steel City support.
We have now handed the Women of Steel Statue Appeal baton over to the next fundraisers.
Richard Caborn is running the Sheffield Half Marathon for the charity alongside referee Uriah Rennie and public arts officer Andrew Skelton.
You can donate to the Women of Steel Statue Appeal by visiting www.justgiving.co.uk/womenofsteel