Walkers for peace take big strides for East Hampshire charities

HUNDREDS of walkers made great strides for good causes by taking part in a Petersfield fundraising morning.

The three-and-a-half mile Charity Walk for Peace was organised by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Elders Association and East Hampshire District Council (EHDC), and brought people together for a positive purpose.The walk last Sunday took in Petersfield town centre and other landmarks, before finishing back at the EHDC offices at Penns Place, where the 325 walkers were treated to a curry lunch.EHDC deputy leader Cllr Julie Butler said: “Last year’s walk raised £7,000 for local charities, and my ambition is to raise at least £15,000 this year, although I am hoping for so much more.

“It was amazing to see so many people sign up on the day to join us. We knew that more than 100 had signed up before the event, and it was overwhelming to see our numbers swell so much on the day.“Thank you to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Elders for their hard work in organising such a successful event. We have established a firm partnership, working together for good causes.”

Petersfield Charity Walk for Peace chairman Rafi Ahmad, said: “To see the brilliant turnout was very heart-warming and humbling and we look forward to raising as much money as possible for the chosen charities.”Dr Rizwan Khan, of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Elder Association, added: “The walk epitomises our objective of serving humanity through peaceful initiatives, and this year, more than ever before, we have received incredible support from across East Hampshire from charities, community groups and organisations who share our goal.

“It really is wonderful to work for the common good of mankind, we could not ask for more.”The Ahmadiyya Muslim Association has a strong East Hampshire link – every July in East Worldham it hosts the three-day religious festival called Jalsa Salana for more than 38,000 people.Nine charities will benefit from the walk: FitzRoy, The Rosemary Foundation, Artscape, Challengers, Homestart Butser, Homestart Weywater, The King’s Arms, Age Concern Cowplain and Dementia Friends.