POZ Exclusives : Walking in London - by Jennifer Morton

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June 9, 2009

Walking in London

by Jennifer Morton

Thousands took to the streets of London on Sunday, June 7, for the 20th annual Crusaid Walk for Life. The 10-kilometer walk was held to raise funds and awareness for people affected by HIV/AIDS.

The event started and ended in Potters Field Park near the famed Tower Bridge. The route featured many of London’s most well-known sights, including St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Millennium Bridge, the London Eye and the Globe Theatre.

 Celebrities such as former Mis-Teeq singer Sabrina Washington and West End’s Oliver! star Jodie Prenger put on their trainers to raise money for the event.

“I believe awareness is the key, and knowing people that are living with HIV makes taking part in this event more personal to me,” Washington said.

The Cheer Fit cheerleaders kicked off the event by warming up the crowd with a few stretches. Participants set off from Potters Field in groups beginning at noon. Though clouds loomed above, the rain held out for most of the afternoon.

Once walkers crossed the finished line, they were welcomed by the Walk for Life staff and each given a medal and goodie bag. Post-walk entertainment included a Blondie tribute band called Bootleg Blondie, as well as the Pink Singers, London’s lesbian and gay community choir.

There are an estimated 80,000 HIV-positive people in the United Kingdom. Crusaid, Britain’s largest HIV support agency, was founded in 1986. Crusaid’s Hardship Fund has helped one in three people diagnosed with HIV in the United Kingdom. Last year’s event was Europe’s largest AIDS walk and raised more than £325,000 ($518,248), all of which went into supporting those with HIV/AIDS and researching a cure.

Search: Potters Field Park, Crusaid Walk for Life, AIDS Walk, St. Paul's Cathedral, London Eye, Globe Theatre, Mis-Teeq, Sabrina Washington, Jodie Prenger

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