Daring fundraisers have proved they would literally walk through fire to help a children’s charity.
Twenty people took part in a firewalk at the weekend to raise cash for Aberdeen-based Charlie House.
The nerve-wracking event at the Newmachar Hotel was organised by Gillian Macleod, Lynne Anderson and Sarah Bremner, who will be continuing their Charlie House fundraising later this year when they trek to Machu Picchu in Peru.
All the money raised from the firewalk will go to Charlie House’s Big Build Appeal, which aims to create a brand new state-of-the-art specialist support facility at Woodend Hospital.
Scores of people turned out on Saturday night to watch participants and cheered them from the sidelines.
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After a safety talk from Firewalk Scotland, a red carpet led the nervous competitors to the red hot embers, which reached temperatures of up to 535C (1,000F).
Gillian, who was first to take on the challenge, said: “It’s way worse walking on the pavements in Tenerife without any flip-flops on. But I’d do it again – it was amazing.”
Sarah said: “I was terrified. You could feel the heat radiating off the ground when you were standing there so you know it’s going to be hot.
“But it’s for an amazing cause.”
Charlie House supports babies, children and young people with complex disabilities and/or life limiting conditions and their families.
The Machu Picchu team, made up of Gillian, Lynne and Sarah, has already raised more than £13,400 for Charlie House ahead of September’s 10-day trek.
Since the Big Build appeal was launched last November, more than £1.6 million has been raised.
The new centre – the first of its kind in the north-east – will have eight bedrooms, with accompanying family accomodation and each of the bedrooms will be decorated and furnished in complementary tones, with bedding and cushions to reflect the child’s taste.
They will also be fully equipped to include hoisting and a variety of bed options, depending on the needs and age of the child.
It will also offer a range of different activities, including a sensory garden, teen den, craft room, spa pool, play area and more.
So enjoyable, I did walk twice
It was a pretty quick decision to say yes to taking part in the firewalk – but I made sure I did not research what I was getting myself into, just in case I talked myself out of it.
Like everyone on the day I was very nervous – but who wouldn’t be? I was about to walk across red-hot lumps of wood. Seeing everyone else’s nervous faces actually made me feel a little better.
Thankfully, we had an hour-and-a-half long workshop beforehand, explaining all the things we needed to do (and not do) to avoid a trip to casualty. Top of the list was do not stop walking, something I definitely was not planning on doing.
Weirdly, a pre-walk activity where we had to break a wooden arrow using our necks and a board turned out to be scarier than doing the fire walk. I don’t know if that was on purpose.
As with most scary things, the anticipation was worse than the actual reality. Waiting in turn certainly got my heart racing, but when I got to the front of the queue I took a deep breath and stepped forward.
It turns out walking across hot embers is a lot like walking on really hot sand on a beach. In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I did it twice.