Worthing's oldest charity celebrates 'getting people back out' with wellbeing walks and talks funded by Tesco Stronger Starts

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​​A celebration seafront stroll and lunch have rounded off a series of wellbeing walks and talks funded by Tesco Stronger Starts for Worthing's oldest charity.

Sight Support Worthing received £1,000, thanks to customers at Tesco Extra in Durrington using the blue token vote, and this funded 12 walks for members.

Since September last year, groups have been on walks including Shoreham Beach, Littlehampton seafront, Worthing Pier, Chichester Canal, Brighton Marina, Mewsbrook Park, Brooklands and Hotham Park in Bognor Regis.

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Hayley Newberry, community champion at Tesco Extra in Durrington, joined staff, volunteers and members for the celebration event at the headquarters in Rowlands Road on Monday.

Hayley Newberry, community champion at Tesco Extra in Durrington, with staff, volunteers and members of Sight Support Worthing ready for the celebration event at the headquarters in Rowlands RoadHayley Newberry, community champion at Tesco Extra in Durrington, with staff, volunteers and members of Sight Support Worthing ready for the celebration event at the headquarters in Rowlands Road
Hayley Newberry, community champion at Tesco Extra in Durrington, with staff, volunteers and members of Sight Support Worthing ready for the celebration event at the headquarters in Rowlands Road

She said: "Customers used the tokens to choose between the nominated charities over 12 weeks and this came second, so they received £1,000. They have really done a lot with the money. It is really nice to see the things they have used it for."

Jackie Brownlee, who manages fundraising and benefits for Sight Support Worthing, said her initial idea was to 'bring people back' after Covid and to help the economy at the same time.

She explained: "We started with three trial walks, funded by Asda, and then I applied to Tesco. It has been good to look back at the fun we have had.

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"When I pitched it, it was the end of Covid. A lot of them hadn't been out and didn't want to be out, and some were desperate to get out. During Covid, their mobility had gone down, so they needed to seek more support.

"I listened to them and took where they wanted to go. We planned a rainbow effect of walks from Brighton to Chichester, using all their ideas.

"Our volunteers are all sighted guide trained so there was plenty of support and everyone was welcome. We have a real mixed age of members, volunteers and staff, so it was a case of getting people back out.

"And it was kind of to help the economy, as well, so we have usually gone to an independent café at the end of the walks."

Worthing town crier Bob Smytherman, who is also president of the charity, also run a history walk in March, funded by the Co-op, which featured in a slide presentation of photographs during lunch.

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