Trek 24 Norfolk in 2019 Image: East Anglian Air Ambulance

This summer, East Anglian Air Ambulance (EAAA) will be hosting its first large-scale fundraising challenge since August 2019 in the form of Trek 24; an organised 24 kilometre or 24 mile walk.

Two Trek 24 events were planned to take place in 2020, but could not go ahead due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Optimistically looking ahead to this summer, EAAA is excited to now be organising three Trek 24 events. This includes bringing Trek 24 to Bedfordshire for the very first time, starting and finishing at Hexton Manor.

The life-saving charity has two helicopter emergency teams covering East Anglia and aims to raise £15 million a year to deliver and develop its service.

Trek 24 is a guided 24 km or 24 mile walk to help raise vital funds to help the charity start flying 24/7, which it hopes to do later this summer.

The very first Trek 24 event in 2019 took place along the North Norfolk Coast. It raised over £100,000 for the helicopter emergency medical service charity. The charity is hopeful this year’s Trek 24 events will be as successful.

Catrina Miller, events manager of EAAA, said:

“Over the last 13 months we haven’t been able to hold any community fundraising events at all, so we’re really excited to be able to put plans in place now for Trek 24, which we’re bringing to Bedfordshire for the very first time with support from Hexton Manor Estate.

“We really hope people will put their lockdown walks to good use and get behind these treks to support our life-saving charity, especially as we move towards 24/7 helicopter operations this summer.

“We have three beautiful locations lined up right across the region our yellow helicopters cover, all of which will make for an exceptional Trek 24 challenge, depending on which type of route you’d like to walk.

“As part of Trek 24 we organise your transport to the start line after registration at the venue as well as refreshments along the way, including a hot meal at the end of the challenge, so all you have to think about is the challenge at hand and raising as much money as you can to help keep our helicopters flying.

“We can’t wait to be able to be reunited with our supporters in person and all events will follow the appropriate guidelines in place at the time.”

The exact routes will be released in due course, the Trek 24 timetable is as follows:

  • Trek 24 Suffolk: Saturday 14 August, finishing at Sotterley Estate
  • Trek 24 Bedfordshire: Saturday 4 September, starting and finishing at Hexton Manor
  • Trek 24 Norfolk: Sunday 12 September, finishing at Holkham Hall

Early bird tickets are on sale now until 31 May from £20 with £200 sponsorship pledge. There are different ticket prices available depending on the sponsorship pledge. Sign up online at www.trek-24.co.uk.

Owner of Hexton Manor Estate, Gallia Grimston, said:

“East Anglian Air Ambulance have been invaluable in landing to attend road accidents in the area around Hexton. The local community have often been the first on the scene of horrific road accidents and witnessed the amazing and life-saving speed with which the EAAA arrive.

“The Helicopter team save lives by evacuating at speed like no other service. They are irreplaceable and they make the difference between life and death. Having seen it first hand, we are extremely happy to support East Anglian Air Ambulance with Trek 24 Bedfordshire at Hexton Manor Estate.”

For more information and to sign up to take part, go to Trek 24.

Hexton Manor Estate Image: Nick Ingram