Deskbound staff put their best feet forward with 1,202 mile walk to support refugees

A team of employees from a busy Derbyshire marketing agency are taking on a whopping 1,202 walk to support refugees in troubled parts of the globe who must trek many miles in search of safety.

A group of ten staff members from MacMartin, a full-service marketing agency based at the Bartonfields Centre in Church Broughton, are putting their walking shoes on during lunch breaks and evenings in order to get their miles in before the end of June.

MacMartin is completing the challenge to raise money for the British Red Cross and its Miles for Refugees campaign. The campaign offers participants the opportunity to walk, swim or cycle a range of distances, which are all based on the number of miles that refugees in different situations around the world are having to travel to reach safety. One distance is 22 miles – the length of the English channel – while another 108 miles, which is what it takes to get from Lviv in Ukraine to Lublin in Poland.

The MacMartin team has combined all distances on offer to trek the challenge as a team, resulting in a grand 1,202-mile target. Each member of the team is responsible for 120.2 miles.

This is the first time the growing company, which celebrates its fifth birthday this month, has taken on a charity challenge as a team effort, and they are planning more for different causes over the summer months.

Katie Redfern, marketing account manager at MacMartin, said: “We particularly wanted to support this campaign because of the British Red Cross’s work with refugees fleeing war-torn Ukraine. It’s a situation that is so horrifying to watch unfold on TV and we would like to do all we can to help. We’ve supported Ukrainians in crisis financially as a company too. We really wanted our first charity challenge to be relevant to a current global situation which is why we have chosen this particular one.

“As busy office-bound people we don’t naturally get that many steps into our normal working day. We might achieve 3,000 in the ordinary course of things. With this challenge we’re all having to up that to around 10,000 a day and it’s amazing how creative you can be when you’re having to reach that milestone on a daily basis! When I do the school drop off I’m parking the car further way so I can get some more steps in, and I think we’re all running upstairs as much as we can!

“But the nicest thing is that everyone is going for a walk together every lunch time which is actually a really good chance to get away from our desks into the fresh air. We do work in a lovely corner of Derbyshire and it’s nice to see the beautiful scenery surrounding us every day. We know how lucky we are to be able to walk safely in the countryside or head down to the gym. Those in the world who are having to walk miles from necessity are not so lucky.

“In the village where I live, Abbots Bromley in Staffordshire, some people have already welcomed Ukrainian refugees, whose children have also joined my son’s school. I know of more in nearby areas such as Uttoxeter and Denstone. It just brings it all so much closer to home, so we’re glad to do our little bit to try and help.”

MacMartin’s refugee challenge has an additional relevance for the company as they work closely with the Burton sexual abuse and rape advice centre, Sarac. With sexual violence often used throughout history as a weapon of war, today as much as ever, the team from MacMartin particularly wanted to show their solidarity for refugees who may be fleeing other forms of violence than bombs and gunfire.

To support MacMartin’s Miles for Refugees campaign, visit

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