TWO of the leading co-ordinators at Hardie Park in Stanford-le-Hope have raised thousands of pounds for the group by documenting their travels in a unique competition on Friday.
Rob Groves and Shane Ralph have been leading figures in the project at Hardie Park, having successfully transformed the area into a community hub, built around the café there.
And on Friday they competed against each other to see who could get the furthest away from Hardie Park in a day with just £20 in their pocket to spend.
Shane overcame his fear of flying to make it all the way to Sweden, while Rob made it to Carmarthen in Wales and later wrote about his experiences and the generosity he had seen in everyone who helped him.
He said: “So many people were genuinely willing to put themselves out for me at their own expense, just to help me. From Russell, who gave me a to Gatwick and Jimmy B, who called and said I’ll pick you up from anywhere and take you anywhere to Adam, a friend’s brother who offered to come from Bognor and take me back and more than 100 people who have donated money to our cause, staggering and humbling generosity.”
Among several people he thanked was Shane, who had thought up the idea, and Rob added: “Our strength is in our diversity, we are two very different men with different ideas and perspectives but we prove that we compensate for each other and the whole is more than the sum of the parts.
It was a great idea and has raised a phenomenal amount of money, you should be very proud indeed.”
The whole challenge was set up in order to raise enough money for a new slide at the park and funding for the Footpaths personal development courses there. The challenge started from 6am last Friday and ended at midnight the same day. The pair posted live updates of their travels on the day, and are still asking people to sponsor them generously for taking on the challenge.
The pair have set a target of £35,000, and they have currently raised over £3,000.