Sheffield anti-slavery charity City Hearts challenges supporters to run, walk, cycle or swim for 25.5 miles

A Sheffield-based anti-slavery charity has renewed its call for people to support its annual fundraising campaign to support survivors of slavery.

Thursday, 12th May 2022, 4:58 pm

City Hearts said its ‘Sofa to Summit’ campaign challenges supporters to run, walk, cycle, or swim 25.5 miles in seven days or fewer, which is the same distance of the Yorkshire Three Peaks.

Last year, the event saw City Hearts staff and supporters raise £30,000 by virtually tackling the 56 miles to the summit of Kilimanjaro around their own towns.

The money raised went towards the creation of a Restoration Hub – a place where care items for survivors could be collected and distributed more easily.

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City Hearts staff training for Sofa to Summit.

This year’s event aims to raise £30,000 for the charity’s Integration Support Department, which looks after the long-term emotional needs of survivors of modern slavery.

The department runs programmes aimed at increasing the confidence, self-worth, and resilience of survivors, so they are able to navigate the world more safely and independently.

City Hearts staff member Jess Bramhall is gearing up for the trek across the Yorkshire Three Peaks in July, and is keen for as many people as possible to get involved.

Jess, who has worked with survivors of slavery around South Yorkshire for nine years, said: “The survivors we work with have all been through some awful experiences. Often when they first arrive in our service, they have immediate needs such as shelter, food, health care and legal advice.

City Hearts staff during a park run.

"Once these urgent requirements are met, they then have to work through extreme, and often prolonged, trauma. Our clients want to get their lives back on track and start living rather than just existing.

"Something as simple as a trip to the seaside can help provide a break from the daily challenges they face. We want to provide the care and support they need for the long term so they can reach their full potential and live the fulfilled lives they deserve.”

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Every penny makes a difference

Steve Watson, chief operations officer at City Hearts, is also busy training for the challenge, as he hopes to run the 25.5-mile route of the Yorkshire peaks in less than six hours.

He said: “I run in the Peak District fairly regularly but never as far as 25 miles, so I am trying to get some longer training runs in!

“I would urge as many people as possible to take part in Sofa to Summit. It doesn’t matter how fit you are. You can just walk three and a half miles a day with your dog for a week if you like- just as long as you’re raising money for City Hearts.

"Every penny really does make a difference to the long-term outcome for survivors of modern slavery.”

City Hearts currently runs five safe houses across South Yorkshire for men, women and families, rescued from modern slavery situations such as forced labour, forced sexual labour, forced criminal activity, and domestic servitude, as well as supporting 71 people in outreach programmes across the region.

There’s also an ‘in-person’ trek across the peaks of Pen-y-Ghent, Ingleborough and Whernside in the Yorkshire Dales, planned for Saturday, July 9, which is open to the public.

To register for Sofa to Summit, or to find out more, click here: https://register.enthuse.com/ps/event/CHYorkshireThreePeaks

To find out more about City Hearts, visit www.cityhearts.co.uk