Search

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

PUBLISHED: 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

A mother-of-nine and her nephew became innocent victims of a “vendetta of violence” when they were shot dead in their own home in East Finchley, the Old Bailey has heard.

Fire crews tackled a blaze that tore through a three-storey terraced house in Kentish Town.

12:18

The future of a family centre which is battling a lack of funding is closer to being secured after 127 children took part in a fun run.

07:00

The tragic death of nine-year-old chess champion Michael Uriely from an asthma attack is hearbreaking enough.

The Whittington Hospital’s fertility centre is opening its own sperm bank and calling for men between 18 and 40 to donate.

10:52

A man was subjected to a “disgraceful and prolonged” sexual assault on a busy Victoria Line train between Finsbury Park and King’s Cross.

10:19

Police are searching for a man after presents were stolen from a Primrose Hill home on Christmas Eve.

Yesterday, 14:09

The Alternative Clothes Show returned to Crouch End last Saturday, March 25, where students from City and Islington College joined local models to showcase a range of dazzling outfits crafted using recycled materials.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now