Armed Forces Day 2020

Armed Forces Day: SSAFA's Virtual 13 Bridges Walk

An annual fundraising walk is back, but this time things are being done differently

An annual walk planned as one of the main events to mark Armed Forces Week in London has taken on a different format so that people can still get involved during the COVID-19 restrictions.

The 13 Bridges Walk looked like it might have to be cancelled after the coronavirus pandemic put a stop to large events to protect public health and safety.

However, the organisers of the 13 Bridges Walk came up with a creative solution that allowed participants to walk near their homes and take part in the event virtually.

Following the first walk's success last year, the event has still has gone ahead, but this year those taking part are connecting digitally online.

The walk was originally created by SSAFA, the Armed Forces Charity to raise funds for its work.

Julie McCarthy, the charity’s director of volunteers, said that the walk aims to showcase the bridges of London and the amazing work of the Armed forces. She added:

"Now we can do that virtually, marking our support and taking part across the world." 

To take part, walkers needed to set up a fundraising profile and walk a 10-mile route near their homes over the course of Armed Forces Week, culminating on July 27.

As Julia explained to BFBS Radio presenter Tim Humphries, instead of walking a route across the 13 main bridges in the capital city, people are walking 10 miles wherever they are in the world.

For Julia, and the team of volunteers at SSAFA, this walk is a chance to "pay their respects to the armed forces community".

Take a look at the fundraising page to see the leader board and a running total of how much has been raised.

Image credits SSAFA