Salisbury Plain walk will clear landmines worldwide

Salisbury Plain walk will clear landmines worldwide

Published by Faye Tryhorn at 7:01am 25th May 2019.

The Stratford-sub-Castle based Halo Trust is hosting their first ever 'Safe Steps' trek across the firing ranges today.

Around 700 people are signed up to the 22 mile (35 km) route on Salisbury Plain today (Saturday May 25th), with a shorter 15km and a family friendly 5km walk also being put on.

All the money raised will go towards the Halo Trust's work on 'humanitarian demining'.

Paul McCann from the charity explains what that means:

"We remove landmines and unexploded bombs so that civilians can get back to their homes, so people can get back to their farms and maybe use their land to feed their families. It's a bit different to when the military clears - they clear roads, oil refiniries, things that are important for infrastructure. We clear things so that people can get their lives back on track."

The charity works in more than 25 countries around the world, mostly former warzones.

Halo Trust Angola
The Halo Trust clearing landmines in Angola

They've also recently opened an office in Stratford-sub-Castle, drawing on the experience of ex-military personnel based on Salisbury Plain to help with their work.

CELEBRITY GUESTS FOR SAFE STEPS WALK

Some former Invictus Games competitors from Ukraine will be joining all those taking part today, with some other famous faces on the start line too.

Halo Trust Safe Steps Walk Salisbury Plain May 2019
The Halo Trust will be joined by Invictus Games competitors from Ukraine for the Safe Steps Walk

TV presenter JJ Chalmers and Love Island star Camilla Thurlow will be among the walkers.

JJ Chalmers, who's competed in the Invictus Games and presented coverage of the Paralympics, said:

"After suffering life-changing injuries from an IED blast while serving with the Royal Marines in Afghanistan, I want to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with all those who have lost limbs, livelihoods and loved ones through indiscriminate weapons such as landmines and other explosive devices. It will be an honour to walk alongside fellow Invictus competitors for HALO on Salisbury Plain"

Camilla's taking part having worked for the Halo Trust for a few years before her time in the Love Island villa.

LOCAL SUPPORT MUCH APPRECIATED:

The Halo Trust is working to raise their profile in South Wiltshire, after around a year being based here.

The charity's expecting to move to another base in Wilton in the coming months.

Major General James Cowan, CEO of HALO, said:

"We know the people of Salisbury will want to get behind Safe Steps and support HALO's life-saving work. The Safe Steps walk is a physically demanding but rewarding way to connect with your local global charity and raise money to save lives."

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