Fundraisers cross finishing line in epic 600-mile challenge

Gordon Cruden set off on the Crosswalk Challenge on April 18.
Gordon Cruden set off on the Crosswalk Challenge on April 18.

Fundraisers from a local addiction recovery charity have successfully completed an epic 600-mile challenge.

The mammoth team effort saw around 200 people get involved with The People’s Crosswalk Challenge, organized by with Teen Challenge North East Scotland.

The initiative, led by Teen Challenge’s area manager Gordon Cruden, saw supporters carry a 12-ft cross around Scotland, clocking up around 20 miles each day, over the course of a month.

The challenge was part of the organisation’s ‘Buy Benaiah’ campaign; a five-year fundraising drive to raise the £535,000 required to buy women’s addiction recovery home, Benaiah, near Mintlaw.

Gordon says he was hugely encouraged by the support received for the Challenge, commenting: “It’s blown my mind how kind people are. There was a family that met me on day two in Peterhead and they came down to see how I was getting on on day 29.

“In Montrose I stopped outside a woman’s house and she had me come in for a cup of tea. It’s been amazing how much people have stepped up to help carry it. They’ve been aged from seven to 90.”

The walk began on Easter Sunday, April 16, and ended this past Monday, May 15.

Money is still being donated but, to date, the challenge has raised around £15,000 for the Buy Benaiah campaign, bringing the current total raised to £435,000.

The Beniaah facility – which allows mothers to continue living with their children while they complete the faith-based recovery programme, Teen Challenge – is currently rented.

However, the purchase of the property would mean the centre could continue to provide females with residential support on a permanent basis and, ultimately, help many more women break free from the horrors of addiction to live clean, free lives.