A kind-hearted businessman is leading a month-long drive to get Harrogate fit and active, while raising a bumper sum of money for Saint Michael’s Hospice.
Rob Northfield is inviting residents to increase the number of steps they do each day and seek sponsorship for their efforts. Backed by Harrogate firm CNG, and Leeds United legend Eddie Gray, who has put his name to the challenge, Rob has already secured more than £6,000 towards his £50,000 fundraising target.
Rob himself has set a mammoth goal of clocking up one million steps in May - 33,000 per day, and is keen for as many people as possible to get involved and support a charity that he is so passionate about.
Rob said: “If you go around talking to people in Harrogate, you’ll find there’s hardly anyone who has not been touched in some way by Saint Michael’s Hospice. The charity is so close to the community and does such great work.”
Running up and down the stairs for football training as a teenager led to Rob discovering his love of doing charity step challenges - in 2016 he raised thousands for Martin House Hospice Care by running up and down the steps by the Sun Pavilion at Valley Gardens.
Rob said: “I always wanted to be a professional footballer, and when I was a junior at Leyton Orient, as part of my training I used to run up and down the steps at my mum and dad’s house. I wore the carpet out.”
A celebrity walk through Harrogate to promote the Eddie Gray Step Challenge could well be on the cards, as Rob thinks about different ways of making the fundraiser as attention-grabbing as possible.
He said: “Let’s get Harrogate moving. It may get people thinking about doing something when maybe they’ve not been feeling good about themselves or feel a bit depressed.
“We would love to see as many people getting involved in this as possible. An individual that normally would complete 5,000 steps a day could get sponsored to complete 6,000, which is a 20 per cent increase. And a team could set a target - 10 people who would between them normally complete 50,000 steps, could get sponsored for a new target of 60,000 steps.”
To raise further funds, Rob is offering a leadership workshop for organisations at a cut-price fee of £500, for up to 20 people. To find out more about this, and how to take part in the step challenge, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To boost the fundraising total, go to: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/EddieGrayStepChallenge