Friends set challenge to unite Thetford community

Some of the Thetford 93 group in front of the town's Thomas Paine statue
Some of the Thetford 93 group in front of the town's Thomas Paine statue
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Twenty friends are hoping to unite their hometown of Thetford through a town-wide fund-raiser for two worthwhile causes.

On August 27, the group – named Thetford 93 – plan to embark on a 93-mile hike following the county boundary of Norfolk and Suffolk from Great Yarmouth to Thetford.

Using the Angles Way walking trail, they will pass through open countryside, river valleys and attractive villages and towns before meeting up with the Little Ouse at Knettishall Heath and winding through the Suffolk Brecks.

Completing the journey is expected to take around 44 hours – and the group hopes that you will join them for as much or as little as you can.

The route is divided into seven sections of varying distances, each accessible by public transport. Money raised will be divided between West Suffolk Hospital, in Bury St Edmunds, and Thetford Town Boxing Club which is expected to open in Brunel Way next month.

Organiser Mark Dean said: “The whole point of this challenge is to make things accessible for everyone. We want everybody to come together to promote Thetford and raise money for something we all believe in.”

The 34-year-old was among eight friends to complete the Three Peaks Challenge last year, raising £5,500 for the Bury hospital’s Rainbow Ward.

Mark said that after hearing about the hospital’s plans to create a special bereavement suite for families suffering the loss of a baby, they felt they had to do ‘something bigger and better’ this year – which is where Thetford 93 comes in.

He said: “Really, against all expectations, we did fantastically well and we realised that people in Thetford are really good at coming together in a community way.

“There are good things happening in Thetford at the moment. Everybody’s proud of the place and when something goes on everybody wants to get behind it.”

The group has chosen to support the boxing club because of the larger benefits it could have for the town.

Mark said, as Thetford’s first boxing club in 24 years, he expected it to become a social hub for youngsters while also teaching them about discipline, health and wellness.

The Jute Box, in Thetford, has produced T-shirts and mugs to help promote Thetford 93 while Thetford Town Council is also supporting the group’s efforts by advertising it as part of Thetford’s Great Festival.

To see the merchandise on offer, visit www.lucysjutebox.com.

For more on Thetford 93, go to www.facebook.com/Thetford93