A two- and half-day slog in May, saw a group of 13 plucky fundraisers trekking no less than 85km – or as participant, Julie Besbrode, put it: “in old money, 53 miles or the equivalent of two marathons back-to-back in 60 hours!”.
Their journey followed ‘The Windermere Route’ from Thereisentadt to Prague as they travelled in the footsteps of the Windermere children – a group child survivors of the Holocaust. The traumatised youngsters were brought to Windermere from Prague in August 1945 to recuperate under the supervision of a group of volunteer therapists.
The My Voice challenge ended in front of the Jan Hus Monument in the Old Town Square, in Prague, where the trekkers victoriously unfurled their banner for a photo mirroring the iconic image of the Windermere Children taken before their departure to the UK to begin their lives over.
The challengers raised more than £32k My Voice – a unique project run by The Fed which publishes the life stories of Holocaust Survivors and Refugees from across the Northwest. The books, provide permanent records of the storytellers’ whole lives to pass on to future generations and are used for Holocaust education.
On day one of the trek the group made an emotional visit to Terezin and Thereisentadt where the storybooks of three My Voice storytellers liberated there were presented to the Museum Director, Jan Roubinet and kaddish was recited in the cemetery outside the fortress prison.
NOTE: In July 2023, My Voice was awarded £246,075 by The National Heritage Lottery Fund to move it into the next stage of development and advance its educational aims. Thanks are acknowledged to National Lottery Players who made the award possible.