A retiring charity boss has taken on a circuit of Oswestry as part of her fundraising challenge to walk almost 70 miles around Shropshire over six days.

Community Resource CEO Julia Baron, who is stepping down after 22 years at the helm, kicked off her epic trail on Wednesday 4 May from Kingsland Bridge, Shrewsbury and will finish in Whitchurch the following week.

She is walking 10-to-15 miles a day, stopping off at organisations and services that have been supported by or worked with Community Resource.

Julia’s trek generally follows the Shropshire Way but has been adapted to include Oswald’s Trail, a 12.6-mile circular route around Oswestry.

She started day two of her challenge on Thursday 5 May from Oswestry charity Qube. In 1989 Community Resource set up a project in Oswestry that went on independently to become Qube, and the two organisations have worked closely in partnership on projects over a number of years.

Julia said: “When planning this challenge it was important for me to include Oswestry, despite the Shropshire Way not going near it! I’m pleased we were able to find a route and grateful to Qube for being so welcoming.

“This challenge is proving to be quite the feat but what is keeping me going in the difficult moments is connecting with the organisations we’ve worked with and raising money for people that the charity will then be able to help in the future.”

Qube Chief Officer Laurel Roberts said: “Qube and Community Resource have a long history together so I’m pleased that we’ve been able to play a small part in Julia’s challenge celebrating her work in the county.

“Julia has contributed a great deal to projects and services that have helped Shropshire communities, and her enthusiasm and commitment will be missed when she retires.”

In February Julia announced her plans to retire at the end of August after over 22 years as the CEO of Community Resource. As well as celebrating her legacy, she hopes her walk will raise funds and awareness of the charity’s continuing work.

Here are the details of the full route:

  • Wednesday 4 May – Shrewsbury to Dorrington
  • Thursday 5 May – Oswestry
  • Friday 6 May – Haughmond to Wem
  • Monday 9 May – Ironbridge to Wellington
  • Tuesday 10 May – Bishop’s Castle to Clun
  • Wednesday 11 May – Ellesmere to Whitchurch

Other stops on Julia’s journey include visits to Bishop’s Castle Foodbank, the National Trust’s Sunnycroft and the Lyneal Trust in Ellesmere. She will cross the finish line at Tilstock Bradbury Village Hall, Whitchurch, on Wednesday 11 May.

Community Resource supports people and communities facing challenges across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin. Its work includes helping people to maintain their health and independence, giving grants to those in need and working with local groups so they can help their own communities to thrive.

To find out more about the challenge and to support Julia, visit www.justgiving.com/campaign/Juliasontheway

Pictured: Community Resource CEO Julia Baron (with walking companion Gill) outside Qube on the Oswestry leg of her charity walking challenge.