Search

Hampstead hikers to trek 86 miles in support of African maternity care

08:00 09 April 2014

Left to right: Caroline Marden, Beena Raja, Nancy Durrell McKenna, Gayle Morrison, Ann James, Jane Naylor and Indrani Mukerjee.

Left to right: Caroline Marden, Beena Raja, Nancy Durrell McKenna, Gayle Morrison, Ann James, Jane Naylor and Indrani Mukerjee.

Archant

Hampstead Heath has become a training ground for a group of hikers preparing to trek 86 miles to support mothers and babies in Africa.

Nancy Durrell McKenna, 64, founder and director of charity SafeHands for Mothers, will set off on a six-day walk from Ilkley, West Yorkshire, to Bowness-on-Windermere, Cumbria, in June.

The mother-of-two, of Fitzjohn’s Avenue, Hampstead, is part of a group of 30 fundraisers taking on the challenge to raise money for SafeHands for Mothers, which aims to improve maternal and newborn health in Africa.

Ms Durrell McKenna has been preparing for the trek with friends and supporters on Hampstead Heath and is appealing for more people to get involved.

“Our vision is a world where no woman dies in pregnancy and childbirth and we want to achieve this through making films,” said Ms Durrell McKenna.

“We make documentaries and raise awareness of issues such as female genital mutilation, Aids and family planning and we make films that inspire health workers.

“I have realised the power the visual has: the power to advocate for change, the power to raise awareness of the big issues that face mothers and newborns, it’s the power to make a difference.”

Using her skills as a photographer and film-maker, Ms Durrell McKenna set up the charity in 2003 and began shooting films to be shown in communities across Africa.

The charity works with a number of high-profile organisations, including UNICEF and the World Health Organisation, and distributes its educational films to African health workers who use solar-powered media players, carried in backpacks, to show the films to communities.

“In these countries we are finding huge illiteracy so the way to raise awareness and educate is through film,” said Ms Durrell McKenna. “These films are all done in their languages.”

The charity recently received a £500,000 Comic Relief grant to support its work in 81 Ethiopian villages over the next three years.

In 2009, Ms Durrell McKenna and friends raised £60,000 with an 86-mile trek from Triacastela to Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

They are hoping to exceed that total with this latest challenge, which will also mark the end of the charity’s 10th anniversary celebrations.

“We are appealing to people who want to come out and support us and walk with us,” said Ms Durrell McKenna. “The ultimate purpose is the much-needed funding that every charity is looking for.”

For more information about the charity trek and to sign up or donate, call SafeHands for Mothers on 020 7433 0792 or e-mail lucy@safehands.org

0 comments

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

40 minutes ago
Candlelit vigil for Nazanin Ratcliffe opposite 10 Downing Street. Photo: Polly Hancock

Hundreds of family members, friends and well-wishers attended a candlelit vigil opposite Downing Street for Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a charity worker held in Iran without charge since April 3.

Guilty: Charaf El Moudden

A burglar who targeted pop star Rita Ora has been found guilty of a raid worth more than £200,000 on her Kensal Rise home.

Yesterday, 17:50
Police were called to reports of an armed robbery

Officers discovered two men armed with a suspected firearm and a large bladed weapon in the NatWest bank

Yesterday, 15:08
Hornsey and Wood Green MP Catherine West has said she will vote down the 'Brexit bill' when it comes before Parliament

Hornsey and Wood Green’s Labour MP Catherine West has said she will vote against Brexit when the referendum bill comes before Parliament in an attempt to undo what she sees as a catastrophic decision by the nation.

Yesterday, 09:19
Harrow Crown Court (Picture: PA Images)

A letting agent who conned tenants and landlords out of more than £200,000 as part of a ‘crude fraud’ was handed a four and a half year jail sentence in a courtroom packed by victims.

Yesterday, 08:54
Gavin Brewer (l) and Stuart Meads (r). Facebook

A construction firm has been fined £550,000 for the “wholly preventable” deaths of a police officer and his musician partner who plunged to their deaths after falling through a roadside hoarding in Camden.

Sir Keir Starmer has resigned as shadow Home Office minister

Holborn and St Pancras MP Keir Starmer has become the latest politician to quit his shadow ministerial role in a mass exodus from Jeremy Corbyn’s team.

Mon, 12:34
Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer has said the government must now do its best to deliver for the country in the aftermath of the Referendum

Finchley and Golders Green MP Mike Freer has urged the government to make the best of the shock EU Referendum result as the Conservative Party tears itself apart in the aftermath.

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe