The Rotary Club of Wollaton Park are walking (virtually) to the North Pole and back - over 24 million steps – to raise money for local hospice Treetops Hospice Care and other good causes this Christmas.

With their normal Santa’s Sleigh unable to take to local streets and shopping areas due to COVID-19 restrictions, all thirty-six Club members, accompanied by family and friends, are recording their steps every day, hoping to complete the chilly challenge by 23 December.

The Club is a long-term supporter of Treetops Hospice Care which provides nursing care and emotional support for adults with life-limiting conditions, those who’ve been bereaved, and their families.

Managed to avoid the ice-cold waters, moving ice caps and polar bears

David Pedlar, Chair of the Community Team, explained more about the unusual ‘expedition’:

“We were very disappointed not to be able to accompany Santa and his sleigh on his traditional annual ride this year, so we decided to come up with a different challenge.

“We calculated the distance from Wollaton Hall to the North Pole, with the average person walking 2,000 steps to the mile, so we have 24 million steps to complete in total. No mean feat!

“Thankfully, we have so far managed to avoid the ice-cold waters, moving ice caps and polar bears, and we officially reached the North Pole on 25 November.

“We’re on our way back now via Lapland, Oslo, Stockholm, Helsinki and Copenhagen and we’re on track to be home, safe and sound, by 23 December.

“Members and their families and friends are walking locally, inside and out, to meet the challenge and so far, we’ve raised over £1000.”

Best of luck on the last leg of their virtual journey home

Cheryl Morris, deputy community relationships manager, added:

“We’re absolutely thrilled that the Club have come up with such an inventive and fun alternative way to support the hospice.

“We are so grateful for their kind support over many years and wish them all the best of luck on the last leg of their virtual journey home!”

The Rotary Club, which formed in 1981, meets regularly to deliver local community projects as well as fundraise for local, national and international good causes.

Donations to the Steps for Santa fundraising challenge can be made online via Just Giving.

Treetops has continued to provide its hospice services throughout the Coronavirus pandemic, adapting and moving services online and providing ‘Cake and Care’ packages and support for vulnerable patients shielding at home.