Boy’s Brigade strides to make a difference

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CARING youngsters walked up to one of the highest points in Hampshire in an effort to raise money for a worthwhile cause.

Starting from Funland, Hayling Island, members of 1st Bedhampton Boys’ Brigade went up the Hayling Billy Trail, through Leigh Park and Rowlands Castle before reaching Butser Hill.

Members of The Boys Brigade walked from Hayling Island seafront to Butser Hill  under the guidance of Alan Outen and Russell Dyer ''''Picture: Malcolm Wells (132748-4418)

Members of The Boys Brigade walked from Hayling Island seafront to Butser Hill under the guidance of Alan Outen and Russell Dyer ''''Picture: Malcolm Wells (132748-4418)

The determined team took up the 19-mile challenge because they wanted to help Piam Brown children’s ward at Southampton General Hospital.

A member of the brigade is currently being treated there.

Nine people started the challenge and three of the younger ones were dropped off after just over six miles at Bedhampton Methodist Church, which is where the Christian youth organisation meets every Thursday. They carried rucksacks filled with food and water.

At the end, the tired walkers congratulated themselves and were met by parents and others who drove them home.

Alan Outen, an officer for the boys’ brigade, said the ward was close to their hearts.

‘The NHS provides all the basics and the ward relies on charities and donations to supply the Xboxs, DVDs, games and things so the children can have trips,’ he said.

‘The people who work there give the kids a chance to be normal.

‘When you spend some time up there and see what the children go through, it’s absolutely awful.’

The fundraising target was £1,500 and while it’s not been reached yet, it’s hoped more donations will come in.

Alan said: ‘Everyone enjoyed it. It was fair to say that it wasn’t until we got to the bottom of Hulbert Road near the church that the younger ones were starting to feel tired. What kept us going was knowing we were making a difference.’

Elliott Quinton, 14, who took part with his brother Adam, 16, said: ‘I wanted to do it to raise money for the ward.

‘The pain we feel now is nothing compared to what they feel in hospital. We know we are doing something good and that gives you a good feeling.’

To donate visit justgiving.com/1stbedhamptonbb