Lauren puts her best foot forward

A FOOT-SORE schoolgirl could well be booking in for a pedicure after joining a band of Morpeth beauticians on a 16-mile charity walk.

Ten-year-old Lauren Lough, of Longhorsley, joined staff from the Urban Spa salon in Bridge Street to put her best foot forward in aid of Newcastle RVI’s Children’s Head Injury Equipment Fund (CHIEF).

The walk was organised by Peter Miller, of Bedlington, to show his appreciation for the hospital’s care of his stepdaughter Eve Anderson.

The eight-year-old was rushed into hospital on Valentine’s Day with a mysterious bleed on the brain and her chances of survival were put at 50/50. She is now on the road to recovery, but doctors have warned it will be a long process.

Mr Miller decided to raise sponsorship by walking to the RVI from the family home every day for a week and on the final day a group of supporters joined in, including Lauren and the Morpeth team.

The Chantry Middle School pupil even made cakes to keep the spirits up on the journey, as well as dog biscuits for the pets taking part.

She said: “I went to see one of my friends and she told me that she was doing the walk so I asked if I could go.

“I didn’t know Eve when I did the walk, but I kept thinking of her and wanted to help her family.

“I just thought it would be a nice thing to do.

“It was hard, but very rewarding at the end.”

The Urban Spa group, who knew Eve from giving her facials, consisted of owner Debbie Pawson and staff Sharon Flanighan and Audrey Rutherford, while Debbie’s mum Joyce and aunt Hazel Turnbull, aged 79 and 80 respectively, joined the team for the first eight miles.

Ms Flanighan said: “It was a really good day, though the 16 miles felt a lot longer.

“None of us had prepared for it and especially for the last three miles we really felt it. We just had to focus because we were so tired. We just helped each other out and motivated one another.

“Lauren is only ten and she walked all of the 16 miles and never complained once. She didn’t even know Eve, but wanted to do the walk for charity. We told her just to walk half-way, but she carried on regardless.

“When we got to the RVI Eve was there so it was really emotional.”

The Morpeth group raised about £400 for the charity to add to Mr Miller’s total of about £5,000.

They are also planning other fund-raising events.