The Unspoken Bonds That Unite and Heal

On Sunday September 5, 2021, The Grief Trail Project held their first fundraising hike for people who have lost a loved one in a road crash. The project was funded by The Yes Grant, and was a joint fundraising event to support Brake, the road safety charity, and RoadPeace, the national charity for road crash victims.

The hike was led by Iris and Sara, who both met in 2013 while hiking up Mount Snowdon to fundraise for Brake. On that day, Iris and Sara experienced the physical and emotional challenges and rewards of hiking up a mountain, and in memory of a loved one. There is an incredible sense of unspoken understanding and support in meeting other people who have experienced a similar tragedy. Even if this tragedy is not spoken about at all during the hike.

The Yes Grant helped Iris and Sara gain the necessary qualifications to lead the 10 mile hike in the Peak District National Park.

An enthusiastic group of eleven set off on a beautiful day of sunshine and blue skies. The start of the route was gentle, following the river through Ilam Park before a steady uphill hike up to Castern Hall. Superb views of the surrounding dales were our reward.

Sharron and Mike Huddleston were hiking in memory of their precious  18 year old daughter, Caitlin Lydia Huddleston, who was tragically killed as a front seat passenger in a car crash in 2017.

‘’Mike and I both enjoyed walking with everyone in the beautiful Ilam Park in Ashbourne, with beautiful views and gorgeous weather. Such a lovely friendly group, that we look forward to meeting and walking with again next year!’’

Our hiking journey took us across fields and into Hall Dale, where some of us took on the challenge of hiking up Allen’s Bank to view the Dales from above. As we entered Dove Dale, we passed the iconic Ilam Rock, explored the Dove Hole caves and walked along the river.

The final part of the day included an optional trek up to Thorpe Cloud at 275m high, and a photo opportunity across the famous Dovedale stepping stones.

The event raised over £4100 to support both Brake and RoadPeace in their campaigns for safer roads and justice, and providing emotional support to those  bereaved or injured from a road crash.

Liz Booth was walking in memory of her son Josh.

”I joined the walk not knowing how the day would be. Losing Josh so quickly left me feeling so alone, even family and friends couldn’t help me make sense of that emptiness, a lonely journey I didn’t want to be on. When I saw the walk link I thought that I could walk with people on that same journey even if we didn’t share stories. This day was close to Josh’s anniversary which is my way of doing something to remember him by. The day exceeded what I thought. From the moment we met it felt like there was an unspoken bond. That warmth continued, we shared thoughts and feelings, and also giggles. Thank you for making that day special.” 

We would like to thank the Yes Grant for funding this project, and to Brake, the road safety charity, and RoadPeace, the national charity for road crash victims, for their support.

But most importantly, we would like to congratulate everyone who participated in the event, all of whom were hiking in memory of a loved one killed in a road crash.

In loving memory of;
Tony Dhrif, aged 70
Lidia Zoetemelk, aged 41
Josh Booth, aged 22
Caitlin Lydia Huddleston, aged 18
Ethan Alexander Penrose, aged 6
Frankie-Kates, aged 13 months

Our 2022 hike is scheduled to take place on Sunday September 18, 2022. To register your interest, contact Iris on

Published by Iris

Mountain Leader (MLS), DofE Trainer and Assessor, Educator.

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