Fundraisers braved Hot Coals to Fire Walk for HALT Domestic Violence
A Fire Walk to mark the 20th anniversary of HALT Domestic Violence (HALT)
has raised more than £6,000 towards funding its work for vulnerable women, men and their families.
The evening fundraiser which took place on Friday 13 June at the Original Oak pub, Headingley attracted hundreds of supporters from the local community contributing to the success of the charity's landmark event, which saw 68 people brave the fire walk
Numerous local businesses contributed to the event and staff from national law firm Simpson Millar helped organise the Fire Walk alongside the HALT team – arranging promotional materials to recruit participants
who each committed to raising a minimum of £30.
Simpson Millar's Head of Family Law, Emma Pearmaine and Managing Partner, Peter Watson were amongst 16 participants from the firm
who braved the hot coals, while other team members assisted behind the scenes.
Participants wore a HALT Fire Walk T-Shirt
which proved an impressive display of colour amongst the flames. T-Shirts were kindly sponsored by 37 Park Square Chambers
– a leading and innovative barristers' chambers in Leeds with close links to HALT. They also fielded a team of brave participants.
Director and IDVA Service Manager of HALT, Nik Peasgood also took part in the Fire Walk challenge. She was overwhelmed by the response and the goodwill of locals who came to cheer them on: "The event seemed to take on a life of its own; everyone seems to have been talking about it, it was one of the best and scariest moments I've ever had
Simpson Millar solicitor, Jenine Abdo played a key role in organising the event. She said: "Domestic violence affects everyone in the family; it is a huge issue and one that we have been helping raise awareness of for several years
now so we were more than happy to help HALT organise a great event."
HALT provides support, advice and information on a range of domestic violence issues including calling the police and prosecuting abusers, individual protection (injunctions), access to solicitors, support at court, criminal injuries compensation, advice on how to remain safe in your own home, issues regarding children and finances, referrals to other organisations and advice around what to do if you are being forced into a marriage against your will.
"The wonderful thing about Fire Walking is that it encompasses everything HALT stands for
. I've seen for myself how the staff walk over hot coals to reach out to those who need them. It was a fantastic way to celebrate 20 years of HALT's presence, and showed how, with the right mindset and support, any obstacle can be overcome," explained Jenine.
Before undertaking the Fire Walk, participants were given an hour's coaching session
with a psychologist.
Jenine commented: "It was very empowering to witness
and best of all it really highlighted the invaluable work of the charity. The evening was inspirational, fun, and a real coming together of people from all walks of life. Domestic violence happens across all sectors of the community and the sense of unity was very moving."
The timing of the event was important as the summer traditionally marks a spike in domestic violence
Nik said: "Coming together in this way to help end domestic violence was very special, and a timely reminder that domestic violence peaks at this time of year – especially, unfortunately, associated with large sporting events such as the football World Cup. I hope it sends the message to everyone that we are here to help
and that you can achieve things you never thought you would.
"The atmosphere was electric, and we could feel the support of the crowd. This was HALT's first major event and I'd like to thank Jenine, and everyone else from Simpson Millar, 37 Park Square Chambers, and all our dedicated staff and trustees who helped us make it such a success
Donations can still be made at www.justgiving.com/halt-domestic-violence
HALT can be contacted through Leeds Domestic Violence Helpline on 0113 246 0401