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Walking in Their Shoes HHUGS Winter Walk 2024

Walking in their Shoes

Annual Winter Walk

Embrace the cold – so they won’t have to

Calling all brave souls and generous hearts! Now in its tenth year, the annual HHUGS Winter Walk is back!

Wrap up warm, defy the wintry chills and don your best walking shoes to take on our annual challenge, Walking in Their Shoes.


Date: Saturday 3rd February 2024
Location: Richmond Park
Time: 10:30am (8.45am for those taking transport)
Transport available from Whitechapel
Registration Fee: £10 Adult 12+, £5 Child, Under 3: free; with transport £15
Sponsorship Target: £150
Distance: 5 miles

Date: Saturday 10th February 2024
Location: Hollingworth Lake Country Park, Rochdale
Time: 10:30am (9am for those taking transport)
Sponsorship target: £100
Distance: 5 miles
Transport available from Bradford (Manchester and Blackburn subject to demand)
Registration Fee: With transport £15.
Without transport/make your own way: £10 – Adult 12+, £5 – Child, Under 3 free

Date: Saturday 17th February 2024
Location: Cannon Hill Park, Russell Rd, Moseley, Birmingham B13 8RD
Time: 10:30am
Sponsorship target: £150
Distance: 5 miles
Registration: Free

Can’t make it to London or Bradford? Take on your own virtual winter walk challenge!
Date: Any time from now until the end of Winter (28/02/24)
Location: Anywhere
Distance: Whatever you like! 5, 10 or 20 miles!
Registration Fee: £0!
Target: £150

Every step you take on the day is critical to provide vulnerable families with the support they desperately need in this trying winter period.

As the UK faces a cost of living crisis, with inflation at a 40 year high and energy prices rocketing, vulnerable families will struggle through this season. With an energy hike in October, 8.4 million households will suffer from fuel poverty. These escalating costs are felt most harshly by HHUGS families, who were already facing immense financial challenges.

So, bring friends and family a long, strap up your walking boots and join us our Winter walk and an enjoyable day out for all the family.

For the past ten years, by boldly defying the dropping temperatures, getting your heart rate going and braving the winter chill, you have shown how far reaching a little exertion can be.

Your amazing efforts have:

  • Provided warm clothing for hundreds of children
  • Paid for gas and heating bills for those struggling to heat their homes
  • Sheltered families through the harsh winter by covering their rent
  • Provided essential necessities such as heaters and blankets

“In Winter, they send us vouchers for clothing and send us duvets to keep us warm. Allah knows the difference that HHUGS made to my life.”

So what are you waiting for? Strap up those laces and step up for HHUGS families this Winter!

How can I take part?

Simply sign up, and your ready-made page on our leaderboard will be created, set your target and spread the word far and wide! The only essential is to let everyone know you’re taking on this challenge for a great cause, so they can donate and support you like the HHUGS Hero you are!

What is the Walking in their Shoes Challenge? Where is it happening?

This is our annual Winter Walk in support of the families impacted by counter terror measures to stay warm, healthy and safe this winter.

For our supporters in Yorkshire and Lancashire, this year our Winter Walk will be taking place in the stunning landscape of Hollingworth Lake, Rochdale. Transport will be available from Bradford.

Our London walk will be taking place in Richmond Park.

Volunteers in Birmingham have kindly organised their own walk in aid of HHUGS, which will be taking place at Cannon Hill Park.

Will transport be provided?

London – transport will be provided from London Muslim Centre, Whitechapel.

Bradford – Yes, transport from Bradford will be provided.

The meeting point will be at: The Islam Bradford Centre, 1 City Rd, Bradford BD8 8ER

Meeting time: 9am 

Subject to sufficient demand, transport will be provided from Manchester and Blackburn. 

Can I make my own way there?

Yes, alternatively you can make your own way to either event.

How can I get there?

Hollingworth Lake:

Road Directions

Hollingworth Lake Country Park Car Park, Hollingworth Lake, Littleborough
Rakewood Road, Littleborough OL15 0AQ

From M62 J21: Take first left onto A640. At traffic lights turn right, then at mini roundabout turn left up Kiln Lane. Up the hill, turn left just before the Gallows pub onto B6225. Go to the end of the road, turn right and Hollingworth Lake is at the top of the hill, on the right hand side.

There are 250 parking spaces; free parking when you display a valid blue badge. Pay and display parking: Up to 6 hours: £3. You can pay at a machine by cash (coins only), credit/debit card or by the PayByPhone app. 

Public Transport Directions

From Smithy Bridge or Littleborough rail stations: Follow the main road uphill for 10 minutes to the Lake. Buses 452, 455, & 456 from Rochdale bus station, 452 & 455 from Littleborough.

Richmond Park

By car

Pembroke Lodge Car Park
Queens Road
London Borough of Richmond upon Thames
TW10 5HS

Car parking in Richmond Park is free of charge. There are 6 further car parks at Kingston Gate, Broomfield Hill, Robin Hood Gate, Roehampton Gate, Sheen Gate and Pen Ponds. Please note that these are not near the start points.

By train

The closest mainline station to the start of the walk (Pembroke Lodge Car Park) Richmond via the District (Richmond) underground line and South Western Railway.  Walking time to this gate is 25 minutes.

There are plenty of options for getting to the park by bus. Use an online planner from TfL or Google to prepare for your journey.

Cycling to Richmond Park has never been easier. There are a number of cycleways passing through and around the park, which you can explore by using the cycle map layer on OpenStreetMap or the cycling route planner from Google.

Who can take part in the Winter Walk?

Absolutely anyone who is fit and able to walk can participate in our winter walk. Participants under the age of 16 must be accompanied by parent or guardian. The event is open to both individuals and groups, so please invite your friends, families, neighbours and colleagues to join you. If you’re part of a Scout, youth group or school why not get your colleagues involved?

For our North walk, we will have two routes, one easy/circular (4.5 miles) where the path is surfaced and suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs, and one intermediate route (6 miles).

For Richmond Park, the 5 mile route should be feasible for those with pushchairs but may be steeper and less even in parts.

How fit do I need to be?

You will be walking 5 miles for 3-4 hours. People of all fitness levels are welcome to the challenge, and hence why people are willing to sponsor you to do the walk. If you have any medical conditions, please consult your doctor before you register for the walk.

What should I wear?

Wear comfortable footwear (walking boots or trainers are advisable), warm and waterproof clothing.

Are the walking routes difficult?

The routes are generally gentle to stroll through and trouble-free. Risk assessments have been conducted and stewards will be informed on the day of any spots which require attention.

What if I get lost or injured along during the Walk?

Prior to the walk, we will have a group event briefing. All participants you be provided with a printed and electronic route map with details of what to do in the unlikely event of getting lost and injured. There will also be HHUGS staff and volunteers guiding you along the way, and qualified First Aid representatives to help you along your walk.

Will lunch be provided?

Yes, you will be provided with a sandwich, crisps, fruit and water. (Chicken and vegetarian options available).

Are other refreshments available?

Yes, both parks have cafes with refreshments available.

Hollingworth Lake:  Royd Ices have three idyllically placed cafés surrounding the beautiful Hollingworth Lake located in Littleborough Rochdale. The flag ship café is located inside Hollingworth Lake visitor centre and combines internal and external seating areas. We provide a large selection of hot and cold food and drinks, ice cream and traditional cakes and pastries.

Richmond Park has one main café that is part of the route Pembroke Lodge Café. There are also several smaller refreshment kiosks dotted throughout the park during our route at Pens Ponds, and Broomfield Hill. At the end of the walk you will have the opportunity to have a hot food or a delightful afternoon tea at the elegant Pembroke Lodge Tea Room, with picturesque gardens and sweeping views over the Thames Valley.  

You can find their locations on the park map.

What should I bring with me?

Bring a water proof jacket and/or umbrella, a water bottle and a fully charged mobile phone.

What do I do when I arrive at the venue?

Upon arrival, you will need to register at the Registration Desk with HHUGS staff and volunteers. There you will be issued with a map of the route, lunch and other items.

Are there toilets on site?

We advise all participants to use the toilets and make wudhu on arrival, before we start. 

Hollingworth Lake:   There are 3 public toilets located at:

Hollingworth Lake Country Park

Lakeside Public Toilets

Pavillion Cafe

There are disabled facilities at all of these public toilets. There is a 20p charge to use the public toilets via a contactless system which accepts credit/debit cards, prepaid cards and mobile wallet payments like Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. Cash is no longer accepted.

Richmond Park: There are toilets and baby change facilities at Pembroke Lodge, Robin Hood Gate, Pens Ponds/Isabella Plantation, and Ham Gate. Some of the toilets are free and for others there a 20p charge via a contactless system. Cash may not be accepted at all of the toilet cubicles.

Will there be an area to perform prayer?

Yes, we will set up a prayer area and ablution can be performed in the toilet facilities near the playground if required.

Is this event suitable for children?

Yes, both walks are suitable for children. However, if your child suffers from any health problems, please consult your doctor before you register for the walk

What can I expect to see?

Hollingworth Lake Country Park is an award-winning tourist destination, built originally as the main water source for the Rochdale Canal but was later developed as a tourist resort in the 1860s. The lake soon became an attraction for those living nearby and in Victorian times it was known as “The Weighvers’ Seaport”. This much-loved beauty spot offers a wide range of facilities for all ages, making it the ideal place for everyone to enjoy the great outdoors.  Soak in the stunning scenery, discover wildlife in the nature reserve and enjoy a relaxing walk around the picturesque lake

At 2500 acres, Richmond Park is a National Nature Reserve and the largest of the Royal Parks, famed for its wide-open spaces, flourishing biodiversity and – of course – the famous 600-strong herds of red and fallow deer who have roamed the park since 1637.  There are anthills that go back 150 years, 25 permanent ponds and wetlands,1000 veteran trees and an ancient oak that’s an estimated 750 years old.  If you’re a wildlife lover and are passionate about the environment and our natural world, Richmond is the park for you. Our route will also take us through the Grade II listed Pembroke Lodge with its 12 acres of gardens, of varied planting and spectacular views to the north and south of the London skyline from King Henry’s Mound – a Bronze Age barrow and Scheduled Ancient Monument, one of London’s 13 protected views, at the highest point in the park, of St. Paul’s Cathedral, over 10 miles away.  The Park is a key sanctuary for 144 species of birds, 29 species of butterflies and 11 species of bats.

How much do I need to fundraise?

We ask all participants to fundraise £150. We are confident however that with a little effort, participants can easily raise far more than the minimum £150 target!

Is there a registration fee?

If you are attending our London or Bradford walk, participants will need to pay registration fee to cover the costs of lunch, guides and event costs. 

• £10 for Adults (12+)

• £5 for Children (3-12 years)

  • Under 3s are free

If you are attending from Bradford or East London and will be booking a place on our transport, then the registration fee for the event, inclusive of coach transport, is £15 per person (irrespective of age)

If you are organising your own challenge winter walk, then there’s no fee!

The registration fee is non refundable, in the event that you are unable to attend on the day, or have booked transport but later decide not to utilise your seat.

Is there a deadline for the registration fee?

Yes, the registration fee must be paid by Friday 2nd February 2024, 6pm for London and Friday 9th February 2024, 6pm for the Bradford walk.

What if I can’t make it to Bradford or London? Can I do my own walk?

Absolutely! You can do your own walk, any time, any day, any way.

Walking in Their Shoes has traditionally been a 5 mile walk. However, as this is all about doing it Your Way, it’s entirely up to you. Only you know what will stretch yourself. You might want to increase it to 10, 15 or 20 miles or take on a greater challenge over the Winter months.

You can hold your Walking in Their Shoes challenge at any time between now and the end of Winter – February 28th 2024. 

You might choose to do it all in a day, or instead you may prefer to break down your distance goals into chunks that suit you, across multiple days or split the distance and take it on as a relay.

The beauty of this challenge is that you can choose where you walk, wherever you are in the world. Whether your content with your local park or want to venture further out to witness some of the most scenic spots in your country; maybe you prefer stick to the safety of laps in your garden or even by covering the distance on your stairs – however, you choose to do it, by going the distance this Winter you will bring HHUGS families closer to warm relief during this icy season.

If you’re struggling for inspiration, get in touch with our Fundraising Team and we can help suggest locations for your walk, local to you, depending on the distance and difficulty you would like to undertake for your challenge.

What are the benefits of taking part in Walking in Their Shoes?

Aside from changing the lives of families in need this Winter, there are many benefits to walking:

Physical health – As well as reducing the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, regular physical activity keeps your body healthy and strong. It can help your blood pressure, help you to sleep better and keep your heart healthy. Walking can help you to achieve and maintain a healthy weight. By getting into regular walking habit, you will feel more energetic and awake over time.

Mental health – Walking can reduce anxiety, improve self-esteem, reduce stress and build a greater sense of calm. Look after your mind as well as your body.

Pushing out of your comfort zone and achieving – Whether you walk along the coast, trek a mountain or take multiple flights of stairs, feel the rush as you tick off the miles towards completing your Walking in Their Shoes challenge.

I have never fundraised before, where do I start?

Easy. Your fundraising page will be set up automatically when you register and will be added to our very own leaderboard system, the first gaming leaderboard to be created by any charity!


Once you’ve set your target, share the page with your friends, family and colleagues. It’ll have all the details of the challenge you’re taking on – and allows people to sponsor you and donate straight to HHUGS, quickly and easily online.


£150 may seem daunting at first, but it’s really as simple as getting 15 friends to donate £10.


If that’s a breeze, you can set your heights on a higher target – £500 or £1000 – easily achieved with just 20 friends donating £50.


Many novice fundraisers have doubted they could raise £150 but with sincere intentions, du’a and the help of Allah they went to raise £1000 in the space of a few days. Some went on to smash the target by raising £5000 or £10000!! So never underestimate what you can achieve!


We’re on hand to support and encourage you at every stage, and if you’re not a confident wordsmith, we can even provide template messages for you to share if you’re short of ideas.   Remember to use all means at your disposal to share your page – WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, Telegram and SMS. Some even made videos to encourage people, and got their parents and children to compete with them in the process!  Whether you’re a novice or an experienced fundraiser, this method is tried and tested.


Here are a few tips:


Fundraising pages are just like paper sponsorship forms, except they’re online, so you don’t have to worry about dealing with cash, cheques and chasing sponsors after the event is finished. You could even create your own fundraising team to help you spread the word!


Level up your profile – Add an image, complete your story and set your event date.


Kick-start your fundraising by donating to yourself. It’s a great way to begin your fundraising!


Set a target: Aim high and keep your friends and family updated on how close you are to reach your goal!


Spread the word. Once your page has been created you can share it with your contacts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. You can also share it via a SMS message, e-mailing your contacts, or sending a WhatsApp and Telegram broadcast to your friends and family. Don’t forget to share it on any groups that you’re on.


You can also share it on your story on WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram.


Change your profile picture on all your social media platforms to our very own fundraiser avatar. You can even add it to your email signature! And of course don’t forget the old fashioned way of speaking to friends and family on the phone too!


Let everyone know when the countdown to your challenge has begun by using our social media badges and sharing your page on your social media channels.


Use social media to promote your walk through status updates, posting photos as your train, or undertake your walk, making videos, sending messages. Encourage others to join you if it’s safe to do so and you’re in a group of six!


Think of fun ways to help donations roll in and the hours will fly by.


Ask for help! Don’t be afraid to ask for tips from other fundraisers on our WhatsApp groups or asking staff for ways to energise donors if you find you’re getting stuck.


Here are some other ways to help:


Get your fundraising matched by a colleague, workplace or friend·


Contact your local press and radio stations with your fundraising·


Contact local businesses for their support by asking them to sponsor you·


We can send you a Charity Collection Penny Box which you can place at home or work if you’re back in the office, and even at the till of your local take away (with permission!). Order yours now at hhugs.org.uk/pennybox.


Even if a lot of events have ceased, you can still contact your ISOC, School, Scouts groups and others to get involved to support your fundraising.


Remember, HHUGS are here to help so you can kick start your fundraising!

What if I’m not Social Media Savvy?

Not being active on social media doesn’t mean you can’t take part. Those traditional methods of direct fundraising served us well for many years and still work wonders. We will set you up with everything you need from the get go and even provide a penny box upon request (just call 0207 733 2104 or email [email protected]). Download our Fundraising Toolkit for a complete A-Z of fundraising idea and simple steps that will help you achieve fundraising success.

How do I send you the money from my fundraising page?

You don’t have to do anything. We receive it automatically whether you use our leaderboard, GiveBrite, JustGiving or MuslimGiving. Thank you!

Can I fundraise offline?

Of course, you can. If people have given you your sponsor money in cash, or made a bank transfer to you, and you want us to add this to your page, simply pay it in yourself. Alternatively, you can simply click “Add cash donation” and we’ll be in touch to verify your offline donation before it is added to your page. You can send a cheque (with the reference Winter Walk + Your name) with your completed sponsorship form to:

4th floor
43 Berkeley Square,

What is Gift Aid and does it really matter?

Make every £1 worth 25p more at no extra cost to you. It’s just a little box to tick but Gift Aid makes a huge difference when it comes to how much money we can raise to support families in the need right here in the UK.

To be eligible to add Gift Aid to your donation, you must be a UK taxpayer and understand that if you pay less income tax and/or capital gains tax then the amount of Gift Aid claimed on all donations made in that tax year it’s your responsibility to pay any difference. The government will give a further 25% of your donation to the charity, and it doesn’t cost you or your sponsors a thing.

This option will be there on your fundraising page, but if you could mention it to your sponsors, you could help raise much more money to support families torn apart by national security measures. Find out more about Gift Aid here.

How will the money I raise be utilised?

The money you raise can provide warm homes and heal hearts this Winter. Every step you take can ease the burdens of single mothers, children growing up without their fathers, and elderly parents struggling without their sons, many of whom are forced to choose between heating and eating.

Your Steps Can Change Lives

Every 7 minutes one person will die this Winter.  Many HHUGS families affected by detention and counter-terror measures, are amongst the 8.4 million in the UK experiencing ‘fuel poverty’.

With living costs and unemployment rising, families face the hard choice to make the decision whether to ‘heat or eat’. Burdened by debts and threatened with eviction, single mothers, with their husbands behind bars, struggle to provide adequate clothing and blankets for their children to protect them from its chill.

Winter hits the most vulnerable hardest. The UK has the second worst rate of excess winter deaths in Europe, with over 175,000 recorded in the past five years, with many succumbing to preventable illnesses.  But Winter doesn’t just impair the mobility of the elderly and exacerbate physical illness. With the looming threat of another lockdown, ‘invisible’ conditions like depression, anxiety and loneliness make the long dark nights and grey freezing days even harder to contend with.

That’s why we’re here, to give families a helping hand. Your steps can clothe children growing up without fathers, and warm the hearts and hearths of elderly parents isolated from their communities this winter. You can be that light of mercy, radiating hope for a family to survive a merciless season.

You might have struggled with the restrictions in the past two years, but it’s easy to forget that many families in our midst live like this all year round. You can make a difference to families for whom social distancing and isolation is a norm.

Your fundraising can transform lives

Your steps this season will mean families won’t face a winter without you. By raising:

  • £40 you can provide warm bedding to protect them from the night’s chill
  • £100 you can clothe children to keep them warm this Winter
  • £250 you can feed a family for a month so they aren’t forced to choose between heating and eating.
  • £400 you can heat a home this winter
  • £500 you can shelter a family by paying their rent and saving them from eviction
  • £1000 you can alleviate a family from the burden of debt.

You can change lives for some of the most ostracised families in our midst.

What if I can’t reach my target?

At HHUGS we’ve seen many challengers, supporters and volunteers achieve great feats despite their initial self-doubt. That’s why we’re confident that with a bit of effort, with the help of Allah (swt) and thereafter our support, you will surpass your own expectations. 

However, if you try your best but can’t reach your target (and we doubt this will be the case) then all is far from lost. You still walk away with the rewards of your intentions, your efforts and whatever amount you do manage to raise. 

“Whoever intends to perform a good deed but does not do it, Allah will record it as a complete good deed.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

So aim high with pure intentions, say ‘Bismillah’ and tie your camel by giving it your best effort, then leave the rest to Allah (swt). You’ve got nothing to lose, and everything to gain, in sha’ Allah!

“Winter is booty for the devout worshipers.” [Umar ibn Al-Khattab]

What should I do if I’ve forgotten my username and password?

Click here https://www.hhugs.org.uk/my-account/lost-password/ if you’ve forgotten your password on our sign up page. Follow the instructions on the email you receive to reset your password.

Still having trouble? Please contact us at [email protected] for help logging into your account.

What if I no longer want to take part?

Get in touch by emailing [email protected] or calling us on 0207 733 2104 if you can no longer take part. We regret that we will not be able to refund anyone who has already donated to support you.

Together, we can ensure the families won’t face a winter without us. Together, we can give Warm HHUGS to those who need it most.

Can I feed the wildlife in the park?

No. Feeding birds and animals in the parks does more harm than good. Feeding the deer is illegal. There is an abundance of natural food in Richmond Park and Bushy Park for our herds of deer. They eat grass, leaves and shoots of trees, as well as acorns and chestnuts. When visitors illegally feed deer, they are teaching these wild and powerful animals to approach humans for food which is dangerous for all involved.

Can I pet the deer?

No. For your own safety, we ask that you keep at least 50 metres away from the deer, and never touch, feed or attempt to photograph them at closer range. Always be vigilant in a deer park. If you find a deer advancing towards you, do not wave or shout at it. Back off slowly, if possible, and the deer may be satisfied that you have left its personal zone.

Can I swim in the lake?

For the safety of visitors and protection of park wildlife, public swimming is not allowed in any of the lakes and ponds.


February 3 @ 9:00 am
February 21 @ 5:00 pm
Free – £15.00


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