The Bluebell Railway is encouraging its supporters to get walking and take part in a Virtual Track Trek.
Each year the railway at Sheffield Park runs Track Trek fund-raising event but that can’t take place this year because of the Covid-19 lockdown.
Participants would normally be sponsored to walk 4.5 miles along the pioneer line, but this year the walk is going virtual and the Virtual Track Trek is due to take place on Saturday, June 27.
Bluebell Railway Preservation Society Trustee Roger Kelly hopes people will get involved and help raise money for COVID-19 Emergency Appeal.
Initial fundraising efforts have resulted in great support from members and public. However, with the coronavirus pandemic slashing income for attractions across the UK, the heritage rail line in Sussex knows that the recovery period will be critical.
Railway fund-raisers have been inspired by the way people have embraced the virtual world during the lockdown, and Roger will lead a team of Senior Bluebell Railway members to walk in the only heritage railway event of this kind.
Roger, like many volunteers at the railway, is in his 70s and he is challenging others to walk and raise funds for the railway to ensure recovery in its historic 60th year.
The 4.5 mile trek is the distance between Sheffield Park Station in East Sussex and Horsted Keynes Station (otherwise known as Downton Station from television’s Downton Abbey) in West Sussex.
Instead of walking along the Bluebell Railway line – because it is closed to the public – this can be walked at home, in the garden or on local daily walks – as long as social distancing can be achieved.
Mayor of East Grinstead Cllr Danny Favor and his wife Maribel are also keen to show their support. They will walk their 4.5. miles around the grounds of Council Offices at East Court in East Grinstead.
Participants can create their own fundraising page or download a sponsorship form by visiting https://www.bluebell-railway.com/whats_on/virtual-track-trek/
Bluebell Railway hopes Trekkers will share their pictures, posts and videos via social media on the day by using #SteamingThrough60 on Twitter or Instagram or posting directly to its Facebook page.
For those who would like to simply contribute, the fundraising appeal can be accessed at https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fund/support-bluebell
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