A NEW partnership is taking off as two charities join forces on their shared quest to help and support the people of the North-East.

The Walk and Talk Trust, which is promoting the physical health and emotional wellbeing benefits of exercising and communicating outdoors, has teamed up with the Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS).

The Trust is organising an event, called The Big Smile, featuring guided fundraising walks all over North of England, to raise money to supply free pairs of walking boots to children and socially disadvantaged adults.

Supporters of GNAAS will see their fundraising split equally between the two charities when participating in The Big Smile this summer.

Walk & Talk Trust chief executive Geoff Simpson and air ambulance pilot Nigel Lynch

Paula Moore, event fundraiser for GNAAS, which provides rapid incident response and on-site critical care with its specialist crews and modern, well-equipped helicopters, said: “We really identify with the Walk and Talk Trust’s values and what they’re doing.

“Their dedication to physical and mental health really supports what we do as a charity. It’s all about being active, and having a healthy lifestyle, and that’s something we really want to promote.

“Teaming up means we can offer the walks to our supporters and help the Trust reach a wider audience, so it really works for both of us.”

Geoff Simpson, chief executive for the Walk and Talk Trust, said: “The Great North Air Ambulance Service was the first charity I thought of when we were looking for other organisations whose values would be aligned with our own and whose supporters would share similar interests.

“It’s a charity we’ve always deeply respected, and I was delighted when Paula and her team responded so promptly and positively. We’re really looking forward to working together.”