Fundraisers from Oldham completed a mammoth 80km trek during Armed Forces Week in aid of service charities, including Broughton House Veteran Care Village in Salford.

Among those turning out to greet the walkers as they made their way through Oldham, Salford and Manchester city centre were a town crier, a mayor and a Royal British Legion guard of honour.

The ‘80km for 80 years’ walk was the latest venture for Sarah’s Community Challenges Project, a group set up by mum-of-two Sarah Tate in 2023 to support local causes and initiatives.

It was held to mark the 80th anniversary of D-Day and took place during Armed Forces Week.

Sarah, 37, of Lees, Oldham, who works as a personal carer, led the group as they chalked up 55km on the first day, slept out overnight at Oldham Civic Centre and then completed their journey the following day.

Mark Angus, 38, and former soldier Martin Brindley, 62, undertook the whole route with Sarah and the trio were joined along their journey by supporters and well-wishers, including members of Oldham Youth Council.

The Shaw and Crompton Town Crier, as well as Oldham Mayor Coun Zahid Chauhan, were among those who greeted the group along their way. When they finished at The Halfway House pub in Royton, the walkers were given a guard of honour by local members of the Royal British Legion.

The 80km trek has so far raised almost £1,000 and the money will help to fund a Christmas dinner for the Oldham Armed Forces & Veterans Breakfast Club as well as supporting Broughton House and other service causes. Further fundraising events are planned for later in the year.

Sarah said: “It was wonderful. We all persevered despite our sore feet and blisters. If I’d had to crawl to finish the walk, I would have done so. What we went through doesn’t compare to what our veterans had to endure.

“Everyone who took part geed up one another, and we were warmly welcomed everywhere we went, with well-wishers beeping their horns and giving donations.”

She added: “It was great to visit Broughton House on our journey and we are delighted to support it.

“It’s so humbling to be in the company of the veterans there and to hear their stories. Broughton House is an amazing place – there’s nowhere else like in the north west.”

Jane Green, director of care at Broughton House, said: “The support from Sarah and her group is fantastic. They are a really special group of people, championing the cause of our veterans.

“They are a very important part of our community programme and network of supporters.”

Broughton House residents and staff attended several events marking Armed Forces Week, including the Betfred Super League clash between Salford Red Devils and St Helens, and raising of the flag ceremonies in Swinton and Bolton. The care home also held a coffee morning attended by senior serving armed forces personnel.

Broughton House has cared for more than 8,000 veterans since it opened its doors to the ex-service community in 1916. It has recently been redeveloped into a complex with a 64-bed care home, including two 16-bed households dedicated to veterans with dementia, as well as independent living apartments, an array of modern facilities, a museum, gym, hairdressing and barber’s salon, and a restaurant and bar for residents.