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Retiring charity boss completes 70-mile Shropshire fundraising walk

A charity CEO has completed her fundraising challenge to walk 70 miles along the Shropshire Way over six days before she retires.

Julia Baron and the Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire, Anna Turner, who presented Julia with flowers at the finish line
Julia Baron and the Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire, Anna Turner, who presented Julia with flowers at the finish line

Community Resource Chief Executive Julia Baron was greeted by friends and colleagues at Tilstock Bradbury Village Hall, Tilstock, after crossing the finishing line at 3.15pm on Wednesday 11 May.

The charity leader, who is stepping down at the end of August after nearly 23 years in charge, started her challenge from Kingsland Bridge in Shrewsbury on Wednesday 4 May. 

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Julia walked 70.1 miles around the county on different sections of the Shropshire Way route, including Haughmond Abbey to Wem, Bishop’s Castle to Clun and Ironbridge to Wellington.

Along the way she stopped off at organisations and services that have been supported Community Resource and was joined on different stages of the route by local people who have been helped by or worked with the charity.

Julia said: “At the start of this challenge I was apprehensive about the number of miles I had committed to walking, but it has been the most incredible experience! I would like to thank all the people and organisations who have welcomed me, refreshed me with cups of coffee and cake, and shared their stories with me. I would also like to say a big thank you to everyone who has walked with me along the different sections and to everyone who has sponsored me.

“This county is made up of amazing people and I’m so glad I was able to see and speak to many of them before I retire. I will really miss my work with Community Resource but I’m thrilled the money raised from this challenge will help to continue its important work.”

Julia was also greeted at the finish line by Lord-Lieutenant of Shropshire and Community Resource patron, Anna Turner. She said: “Congratulations to Julia on an amazing effort, I hope she’s very proud of what’s she’s achieved.

“Julia has spent over 20 years of her career helping communities across Shropshire and she has made such a difference to people’s lives. She will be greatly missed, although I suspect even in retirement she will still find a way to help local people – once she’s had a well-earned rest!”

The challenge, which was sponsored by Shifnal-based tech consultancy CTGFT Ltd, has raised over £2,000 so far. People can still donate online at https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/Juliasontheway

Community Resource supports people and communities facing challenges across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin. Its work includes helping people to maintain their health and independence, giving grants to those in need and working with local groups so they can help their own communities to thrive.

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