At the grand age of 85 years old, Revd Sheila Auld, assistant priest at St. Gabriel’s Heaton has taken on an unusual challenge to raise money for a local charity close to her heart.
Since 2009, Sheila has been involved with Mothers’ Union and she continues to work as a branch leader in Newcastle and Heaton. Starting on 5 June, Revd Sheila will be attempting to travel from Newcastle to Chichester using only local bus services and her senior bus pass. By collecting sponsorship, Sheila hopes to fundraise for Newcastle Mothers’ Union’s ‘Newcastle AFIA – Away From It All’ charity which provides breaks for struggling families who could otherwise not afford to get away.
Revd Sheila said: “I know, from bringing up children on my own, how just one day away can feel like a fortnights holiday and is so much appreciated by mums, dads and families.”
Sheila does not know exactly how long it will take her to reach her final destination but she has allowed herself just six days. She plans to stay with kind MU members along the way, with her first planned stop at Ripon already requiring five separate buses. Shelia believes her total journey may involve more than twenty different buses.
Revd Shelia, a self-confessed travel lover, said: “I shall keep in mind that this is all for a good cause. I intend travelling light with just necessities.
“Some folk say the whole thing will be a ‘doddle’; others think I might be stranded on a dark night in the middle of nowhere.”
If there is enough money raised, Shelia also hopes to support MU members who work with families in Africa, educating them in ways that enable them to become self-sufficient, and able themselves to feed and clothe their children and send them to school.
If you would like to contribute, please send your gift to St Gabriel’s Parish Centre, 2 St Gabriel’s Avenue, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE6 5QN, or scan the QR code (left) for information about paying online. If you pay UK tax you can Gift Aid your donation, thereby adding 25% to its value at no cost to you; simply confirm your wish to do this, and that you are a UK tax payer.