50th anniversary firewalk

50th anniversary firewalk

When it comes to fundraising for National Star, 69 people proved that they can stand the heat.

They walked barefoot over hot coals in National Star’s 50th anniversary firewalk, raising more than £6,000 for the charity.

Helja Gromen, from Stroud, marked her 60th birthday by walking barefoot over the embers that have been heated up to 1236 Fahrenheit.

‘It was absolutely the best thing I could have done for my 60th,’ she said. ‘It was a challenge and something that I’ve never done before and it was a great opportunity to help a charity.’

Firewalking experts Blaze ran the adrenalin-fuelled event at our campus in Ullenwood, near Cheltenham. After a motivational two-hour training session the brave souls walked 20 feet over hot coals.

Around 200 people turned out to watch the excitement and to enjoy food from StarBistro.

Dad Andrew Stark, from Cheltenham, did the walk with his 16-year-old daughter Abi Brown-Stark and son Lewis Brown-Stark.

‘It was just amazing,’ said Abi. ‘The best thing was the total sense of euphoria of having done it.’

Nikki Budding, from Colour Connection in Gloucester, took part in the walk to celebrate her 40th birthday.

‘It was fantastic. Would I do it again? I’d do it tomorrow. It’s just such a great feeling,’ said the business development manager.

Several teams from companies and businesses took part including: Safehands, Breeze Radio, Kilsbury Construction, Wavelength recruitment, National Star, MHP Design and Coventry Building Society.

Suzanne Hall-Gibbins, director of Circle 2 Success, who took part with fellow Circle 2 Success director Angela Evans, said the feeling of confidence from the training and completing the walk would stay with her.

‘What will stay with me is that feeling of positivity from the training which gets you in the mindset to do anything that you want to do,’ she said.

‘The firewalk was a fantastic event to mark National Star’s 50th anniversary,’ said Gill Henry, Head of Fundraising.

‘Fundraising has been vital to National Star’s development. The generosity of the companies and individuals who support us, enables more young people with complex disabilities to benefit from National Star’s specialist environments, facilities and equipment.’

Keep reading

Continuing reading the inspiring stories from National Star’s 50-year history.

Journey through our history

Find out how we’ve been realising the aspirations of people with disabilities since we first opened our doors in 1967.

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