Why not join the Walk for Life 2002?

Story by Paul Nelson

11 million children have been orphaned by AIDS around the world, and yet everybody seems to think the problem has gone away.
It hasn't.
I hope I can help attract attention back to this terrible disease, to what it is doing to women and children all over the world.
- Madonna, Crusaid Patron.

SUNDAY, June 23 sees Crusaid's annual Walk for Life. Each year thousands of people, including many of the UK's favourite celebrities, stroll, walk and, in some cases, dash through the streets of London raising money for one of the UK's largest charities fighting HIV and AIDS.

The 10km walk begins at the Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank at 4pm. Taking in sights such as the Millennium Bridge, the City and The Tower. The walk finishes with an exclusive private event in the luxurious surroundings of the HAC Ground (EC1) where a fabulous party will be held for participants, with live music, dancing, DJs, a main stage featuring a full programme of entertainment with very special surprise guests, complementary therapists, fully licensed bar and a discounted barbecue and rides at the resident funfair.

Last year's Walk For Life raised well over a quarter of a million pounds and remains Europe's largest mass fundraising event for HIV and AIDS causes. It provides direct help to many Crusaid schemes including the National Hardship Fund, for people living in the UK in need of financial support as a result of AIDS, nationwide projects vital in the care of people with HIV and the launch and continuation of education campaigns across the world giving young people the knowledge they need to protect themselves. The money also contributes to the global effort to find a vaccine for AIDS.

Recent initiatives include the funding of one of South Africa's first clinics which prevents mother to baby transmission of the HIV virus and will provide counselling facilities to 150 sufferers of HIV and AIDS.

In previous years, many people have walked in teams formed from families, school and college groups, pubs, clubs and workplaces. Last year's walk was started by Eastenders star Lucy Benjamin and she was joined on the walk by many familiar faces including members of the cast of Eastenders and a host of TV presenters and recording artists.

High profile supporters of Crusaid's work will also attend this year's walk.

As well as Madonna, Crusaid's patrons include Dame Judi Dench, Rupert Everett, Sharleen Spiteri, Sir Cameron Mackintosh, Joanna Lumley OBE, Matthew Williamson, Josh Rafter and Nicholas Hytner.

Crusaid is very happy to announce that the individual who raises the most sponsorship money is also being offered a prize package of a pair of tickets to see Madonna in Up For Grabs, as well as dinner at Mezzo and a night at a top London hotel.

For further information and to register yourself for the Walk For Life log on to www.walkforlife.co.uk - the site features updates, links, e-fundraising and a registration form. You can also call 0870 011 0022 for the Walk For Life registration service.