Our heartfelt thanks go to Pauline Sharp and Jo Kingsbury who have raised £5,000 for S.O.B. The pair walked the length of the Great Wall of China in October, completing 36km of demanding terrain over five days and culminating in a symbolic ceremony; placing a brick in the wall for survivors.
Pauline said, “ It was emotionally, mentally and physically challenging. We really had to dig deep to find the strength to overcome our fears. Our sheer determination helped us to keep going.”
Jo conquered her fear of heights, “We were faced with narrow pathways with sheer drops each side but the support from everyone was exceptional and certainly helped me overcome my fears. The views across mountains and valleys kept us going and gave me the determination to complete the challenge. The whole experience proved to be very and emotional so there was a range of challenges to overcome.
Pauline and Jo took a year to prepare and fund-raise and during this time worked to raise awareness of child abuse and the role of S.O.B in providing vital support to adult survivors. The pair hosted a range of events; a book sale, cake sale, dress down days and Football black-out cards. They also held a garden party that raised £400. Since their return from China they have produced a charity calendar featuring pictures from their trek which has been sold to raise further funds for S.O.B.
Jo said, ‘Our journey in raising this money really made us think about why we were doing it, who for and what the outcome would be. Pauline and I have cemented a firm friendship through this challenge. We’ve shed some tears but also laughed even when things got tough and it was so important for us to raise awareness and gain trust from other people who have stayed silent because they felt unable to speak out. We are now letting them know that they do have a voice and together we can work towards making a change. They don’t have to hide in the shadows any longer. We need to show people that there is a better life out there and the support of SOB can help them move on their journey towards achieving that life. Together we will make a difference.’
Pauline added, ‘When I first set out to do this challenge it was with the prime reason of raising funds for SOB and to raise awareness, around the impact the adversity faced by survivors but also in the main it was to empower and show that through adversity you can thrive. It was a personal battle for me to show myself what I have overcome, that I have grown from my healing, that I can forge ahead and be a voice for those who are unable to do so. We must safeguard our children today, tomorrow and in the future. SOB can help the survivor to take that step in their recovery to come through and rebuild themselves piece by piece.’