MORE than 100 feet walked over hot coals to raise an incredible £10,000 for Heart of England Mencap at the weekend.

The Charity Firewalk was organised by the Friends of Heart of England Mencap and took place at the Home Guard Club in Tiddington on Saturday night (October 1st).

Some 57 people took part on the night – undergoing two hours in training before stepping up to conquer the coals – everyone completing the seemingly impossible feat and raising a huge amount to support local people with learning disabilities.

Sponsorship is still being collected but organisers expect to reach the £10,000 mark.

The event – the first undertaken by Heart of England Mencap and the largest fundraiser to date organised by the Friends of the charity – was run by Blaze Firewalking.

Amongst those taking part were a big contingent of HofE Mencap’s staff and supporters – as well as corporate teams, including 11 workers from Santander UK, based in Solihull.

Di Yeoman, Media and Marketing Officer for HofE Mencap, conquered the coals on the night.

She said: ”The evening began with a 2 hour training session –  lots of exercises in positive thinking and fun activities to rev us up and get up whooping and shouting and smiling. We walked the length of the pit before it was lit to assess how many steps we would take – and then watched the fire being lit.

“Everyone walked the coals, not one person backing out. Despite an evening of heavy rain spirits were high – and we are so grateful to the Friends of Heart of England Mencap for organising such an incredible fundraiser for us – to everyone who took part or supported those who did.”

Heart of England Mencap’s Chief Executive Helena Wallis also stepped up to the challenge.

She said: “The opportunity to take part in a personal challenge, along with such a motivated group of supporters felt amazing. The experience was incredible, not painful at all! Overcoming fear felt a great achievement – especially when I knew that so many people would benefit from my involvement and from the incredible funds we raised. It was worth every step.”

Karen Rousell, Chair of the Friends of HofE Mencap, added: “We have raised more than we could ever have imagined and we owe a huge thank you to everyone. We are now deciding how best to spend the incredible total – as with all of our fundraising it will go straight to the local people with learning disabilities who are supported by Heart of England Mencap.”