Walk for Freedom event in Wimbledon Park raises £1,000 for South African charities

This Is Local London: Walkers enjoying the Walk for Freedom event Walkers enjoying the Walk for Freedom event

A sponsored walk for people of all ages inspired by Nelson Mandela was held in Wimbledon Park.

The Walk for Freedom Day was organised by a group of five small charities who work with young people and children, supporting grass roots projects in South and Southern Africa.

Walkers raised more than £1,000 in sponsorship.

The fundraising event was held on Sunday, April 27 - a date which has special significance as it recalls both the first day of democratic elections on April 27, 1994, and the 27 years Nelson Mandela spent in prison for his beliefs to achieve a democratic and non-racial South Africa.

Organisers said the annual walk, which began in London and Gloucestershire in 2013, will help to continue Mandela’s legacy after his death in December last year.

A total of 80 well wishers trod the Wimbledon Park ground in circuits of 2.7 miles in support of the day, raising funds and awareness for projects helping thousands of young people prosper through schooling, human rights and safeguarding.

Tricia Sibbons, the spokeswoman for the initiative, said: "We were delighted to have people from all over the globe walking on South Africa's Freedom Day raising well over £1,000.

"The Borien Educational Foundation for Southern Africa (BEFSA) will be using the funds raised in their rural schools teacher training programme beginning in June, reaching over 10,000 children in rural villages with maths and English.

"Another charity helping marginalised youth gain skills will be able to fund a year of vocational training in IT with the money raised."

For more information on the Walk for Freedom Day, visit the website.

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