CRY Heart of London Bridges Walk – 6th July 2014

On Sunday 6th July 1,154 CRY supporters of all ages travelled to Central London from across the UK, once again, to take part in the annual CRY Heart of London Bridges walk.

Here is a selection of photos from the day. If you would like to view all of the photos, they are available on our CRY Heart of London Bridges Walk Flickr gallery.
Facebook thank you image

Despite the drizzly start to the day and major events such as the men’s finals at Wimbledon and a major concert in Hyde Park, our supporters turned up for this major CRY event.

As always, it was a poignant yet positive occasion. This year was the 8th year that the event had taken place.

It was incredibly moving to see so many people coming together, holding their CRY balloons and wearing personalised t-shirts, to walk in memory or support of a friend or family member. It was also an opportunity for people to meet up with friends, other CRY families, CRY staff and those who have offered them support, as well as raising awareness of CRY’s ongoing work to help reduce the incidence of young sudden cardiac death.

Walkers began congregating in the Victoria Embankment Gardens from around 9.30am, where CRY staff and volunteers, were waiting to meet and greet them. As well as many of CRY’s long standing supporters and participants in this flagship event, some of whom have taken part every year since 2007, there were many new faces and supporters who had made the journey to London.

There were a number of large groups again this year walking in memory of someone, including 63 walkers for Cheryl and Katrina Christopher Webber, 50 walkers for Tom Clabburn, 29 walkers for Adam Donnelly, 28 walkers for Oliver Thompson, 24 walkers for Sally Wells, 23 walkers for Guy Thomas and 22 walkers for Stephanie McLean, as well as many other smaller groups.

Whilst many people take part in the walk in memory of a friend or family member, there are a number of families walking in support of a young person who has been identified with a heart condition – often through CRY’s cardiac screening service.  Among those supporting people, there were also members of the CRY myheart network who took part in the walk including Mallory Brand, Lucy Challis, Sian Donnelly, Rachal Marchant, Julie Robinson, Paula Simmonds and Bronwen Stringer.

Each year there are also groups and individuals taking part who have not been personally affected by young sudden cardiac death or the diagnosis of a condition, but take part simply to support CRY and its work.

Before the walkers set off at 11am there were introductions and speeches from CRY’s Founder and Chief Executive, Alison Cox MBE and CRY Patron Kathryn Harries, who also led a minute’s silence. Kathryn first launched the event back in 2007 and has been a keen supporter of CRY ever since.

This was followed by a warm up with fitness instructor and CRY myheart member Paula Simmonds and her team from PB Fitness Training who kindly gave us their time and energy.

The groups then quickly and quietly filtered through the park gates, small groups at a time heading towards Golden Jubilee Bridge, the first of 7 Thames Bridges before making their way to Hays Galleria, where CRY’s welcoming party awaited. At the finish walkers were presented with a certificate of thanks and fresh fruit punch made – as in previous years – by volunteer Koula Louki, ably assisted by Nigel Bennett.

We would like to thank the following organisations for their support of the Bridges Walk this year:

UNUM, London Bridge City, Chubb Insurance Company of Europe, Westminster City Council, Rock Choir and St John’s Ambulance.

We would like to thank the following for their co-operation in the planning of this event:

  • Transport for London
  • City of London Police
  • City of London Corporation Events Team
  • Southwark Council Events Team
  • Charing Cross Police

As always, we rely on the goodwill and generosity of our dedicated volunteers, without whom we could not possibly run an event of this size. They help to assemble packs in advance of the walk;  promote the walk by distributing leaflets and using social media; inflate balloons; marshal the route; hand out drinks and certificates; man CRY stands; help with registration and tidy up. A huge thank you to:

Martin Appleby, Denise Austin, Lisa Austin, Claire Baker, Nigel Bennett, Angie Bowling, Paul Clabburn, Brian Connell, Krisztina Cserhalmi, Chrysoula Dalageorgou, Philip Eastty, Timothy Edwards, Sabrina English, Karla Griffiths, Barbara Holland, Jim Holland, Jo Hunt, Carl Johnson, Eunice Johnson, Julie Lockton, Koula Louki, Rishka Magowan, Irena McCabe, Patsy Mourtzinos, Wendy Moss, Carol Nicholls, Tony Nicholls, Ashley Palmer, Jo Pickard, Janette Pollard, Coral Quelch, Nikki Quelch, Sam Quelch, Pete Robinson, Sue Robinson, Christine Rumley, Jagroop Sandhu,Mair Shepherd, Paula Simmonds, José Ramón Caamaño Sobrino, Paul Stevens, Alyson Stokes, Linda Taylor, Rob Trounce, Becci Upson, Dave Walton, Sue Walton, Gerry Wright and Kylie Wroe.

What this walk achieves for CRY:

Sponsorship and donations raised from the 2014 Bridges Walk will go towards funding CRY’s Research Fellowship Programme, which is essential to the services we offer. CRY currently funds 5 doctors, for 2 years, who specialise in the field of inherited cardiac conditions, sudden cardiac death, screening and sports cardiology. The research that they produce advances our understanding of conditions that can lead to young sudden cardiac death. £50,000 will fund a Research Fellow for 1 year

For every £1 donated to fund a Research Fellow:

  • 50p will go towards fast track screening services for families who have been affected by young sudden cardiac death
  • 30p will go towards medical research into young sudden cardiac death
  • 20p will go towards our national screening programme for young people (aged 14-35 years)

Over one year, a CRY funded Research Fellow will:

Facilitate 250 fast-track referrals to the CRY Centre for Inherited Cardiovascular Conditions and Sports Cardiology at St George’s Hospital, London. Families can be seen at these fast-track clinics within a few weeks of referral after the sudden death of a family member.

  • Publish at least 2 peer reviewed articles in leading journals and present their research at international conferences.
  • Support the screening of 14,000 people. CRY Research Fellows carry out consultations with every person CRY tests, and manage any abnormal screening results.