Volunteers getting set for 20-mile Long Mynd Challenge

Union Matters

National disputes and worrying times have not stopped warm-hearted CWU members from their tireless charity work helping the poor and vulnerable…

Yes folks, it’s that time of year again when volunteers hike the hills of Shropshire to raise as much money as possible for the union’s CWUHA charity and support its fantastic work in the UK and beyond.

Event organiser John Turnbull – from our Mid-Wales, North Staffs & The Marches Branch – says: “So far, we’ve got around 20 people who’ve said they’re coming, but the Long Mynd hills have plenty of room for more and every mile walked raises much-needed cash for very good causes,” he tells CWU News.

The trek around the Shropshire Hills is an event that has, over the years, become an important part of the union’s charity calendar, traditionally held on the first Saturday of September for each of the past 12 years – even the 2020/21 pandemic could not stop it, although there were Covid restrictions that impacted the event.

“Thankfully, they’re all over now and this will be the first back-to-normal hike since 2019,” John continues, “although this year is turning out to be anything but ‘normal’ for our members in BT, Openreach, Royal Mail and the Post Office.

“I must say that it’s a massive tribute to our members that in spite of the cost-of-living crisis and in spite of the disputes with our various companies, CWU people are still determined to carry on supporting good causes and donating money and their spare time to help those in dire need.”

The greater part of the money raised by Long Mynd 2022 will be used towards the aid effort that CWUHA is spearheading in support of refugees fleeing the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, in particular those who have sought safety in neighbouring Moldova.

CWUHA secretary Lenny Crook explains: “We’ve supported the Phoenix Childrens’ Centre in Moldova for many years now, but since the war started in February, it has opened its doors to Ukrainian families escaping the horrors of war and so CWUHA has focused on trying to help resource that assistance.

“We’ve filled a 40-foot trailer truck with all sorts of everyday items that we’ve been told are most desperately needed by these poor people – such as toiletries, sanitary products, towels, sheets, clothes etc – and eight of us from CWUHA will be heading over there to help unload at the Phoenix Centre and at other locations in Moldova which are helping the refugees as well.”

CWUHA is also continuing with its work in the UK, including local food banks, domestic crisis centres and children’s aid, Lenny continued, making the point that “while we’re doing as much as we can to help with the Ukraine crisis, we’re also fully cognisant of the impact that the cost-of-living crisis is having on some of the most vulnerable groups right here in the UK too.

“Everyone who donates to the Long Mynd 2022 appeal will be helping a person in need – whether that person is a Ukrainian refugee, or a needy or disabled child or vulnerable adult here in the UK, every donation helps a person who needs help.”

Lenny, a member of North Lancs & Cumbria Branch, took part in Long Mynd 2021 and tells CWU News that he is “really looking forward to this year’s challenge.

“Well, I’m looking forward to the laughs and good spirits on the day, and the pub quiz in the evening – not so much the aches and pains of the morning after!”

John Turnbull says: “It’ll be great to see Lenny again this year and all the other volunteers too. And if anyone wants to come and join us, please get in touch with me here: jturnbull@cwumidwales.org.uk

“And as Lenny rightly says, every single penny raised will help a person in need – so please, if you can donate, please go to our Just Giving page here.”