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Union boss takes break for 270-mile charity walk

All boots and blisters...Chris Morley walks the 270-mile Pennine Way to support NUJ members and their dependents

A full-time National Union of Journalists’ official took a break from industrial troubles to walk 270 miles for charity.

Northern and Midlands NUJ Organiser Chris Morley took to the Pennine Way to raise cash for journalists and their dependents who have fallen on hard times.

The 53-year-old set off on May 4 from Edale, in the Peak District, and was due to cross the finish line at Kirk Yetholm on the Scottish border at the weekend.

Chris took part in the walk to raise funds for the NUJ’s charity, NUJ Extra, which helps members with one-off grants.

Said Chris: “I’ve always enjoyed a good old physical challenge, and taking on a long distance trek definitely appealed to me.

“So having a go at the Big Daddy of them all, the Pennine Way, seemed like a great idea, especially as it takes in the site of the legendary Kinder Mass Trespass at Malham Moor. This was the inspiration for breaking the restricted access to the countryside by the land owners, and helped us all achieve the “right to roam”.

“I’ve never really had the time before to consider tackling the 270 miles – from Edale in the Derbyshire Peak District to Kirk Yetholm just over the Northerland border into Scotland – in one go. Until now, I’ve always been too busy.

“I’m fortunate enough to have earned a sabbatical in my job, and wanted to use the time to give me the sort of clear head it was intended to engender.  But I also wanted to give something back to the fantastic trade union that has done so much for regional journalists and journalism.

“Throughout my membership, I have witnessed the great work the NUJ’s charities have done for journalists and their dependents who have fallen on hard times. And in the last decade, those hard times have certainly got very tough indeed for some.

“But NUJ Extra has had notable successes in protecting the most vulnerable and supporting them in the hour of their greatest need. As a full-time official, I have seen the power of having that tenuous safety net – enough to keep journalists in a job when otherwise they would have had to throw in the towel and rely on benefits.

Anyone who wants to donate to Chris’s cause can do so via the NUJ Extra page on the NUJ website.


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  • May 27, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    The NUJ can afford sabbaticals for staff ! How very 1970’s Guardian commune !

    Still fair-play to Chris to using some of it to help others.

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  • May 27, 2014 at 3:52 pm

    Congratulations to Chris for this selfless action. He is an example to us all in an age when one side of our industry is intent on crushing the other side into the ground for every last drop of money and blood, and with no regard for the consequences. Chris Morley demonstrates that there are more important things in life than maximising profits and firing staff to preserve the backsides of overpaid executives and self-important editors.

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