Volunteering Regional Groups North West Group Leader: Ned Spencer To celebrate my 60th birthday I walked Camino Frances in May 2013. As with many pilgrims it had an interesting effect on my life!! I can tell you some stories over a glass of Rioja maybe? During the Summer of 2013 my family and friends started to tire of my stories – Did I tell you about when we slept outside? So when I was approached by someone else who had recently walked The Camino and wanted to meet up – I said “YES”. Eddie Heakin was his name – and if he is reading this – come back Eddie, we miss you. We advertised our meeting and ended up with about 25 people in a pub in Manchester. It was a lovely afternoon and so Ultreia Mancunia was formed. We are linked to the CSJ in London and we try to support their events (such as the AGM) where we can. But it isn’t compulsory to be a CSJ Member to attend UM events. We have members from all over the North West / Wales / Cumbria and Yorkshire. There are now about 80 people on our membership list So what do we do? We organise a Practical Pilgrim’s Day each year – usually March. This is intended to help people who are planning their first Camino to meet up / ask questions / get advice etc. This is always well attended and we always end up in a bar somewhere! We have a Social meeting in December – this could be anywhere in the North West. Then we organise about 3 walks each year. Mostly these are day walks but we did do The Peak Pilgrimage over 3 days – a lovely walk! We are looking at doing The Welsh Camino. We have a Facebook page and members are encouraged to use this to swap photos / stories / information etc. Click here to see it! There is a monthly Zoom call for UM members, organised by Barbara Jones, starting Monday, August 24th at 7pm, and then on the fourth Monday of each month. A walk of approximately 8-9 miles is planned for 10.15am Saturday, September 5. Depending on the weather and how the walkers feel, the ascent to Stanage Edge and the stepping stones and riverside walk may be omitted, making the walk approximately 6-7 miles. Given the current restrictions at the time of going to press, this walk is restricted to six people, with a waiting list in place in case the situation changes. Email the office for contact details.