HELJA Gromen, from Stroud, marked her 60th birthday by walking barefoot over hot coal that had been heated up to 1236 Fahrenheit.

She was joined by 68 other people, who could all stand the heat, to raise money for National Star,

The group walked barefoot over the burning embers in a fire walk at the Cheltenham-based charity.

Their efforts have raised more than £6,000 for the charity which supports young people with complex disabilities and more sponsorship is expected in the coming days.

Helja thoroughly enjoyed the challenge that the fire walk presented.

“It was absolutely the best thing I could have done for my 60th,” she said. “It was a challenge and something that I’ve never done before and it was a great opportunity to help a charity.”

Firewalking experts Blaze ran the adrenalin-fuelled event at the National Star campus in Ullenwood. After a motivational two-hour training session the brave souls walked 20ft over hot coals.

Around 200 people turned out to watch the excitement and to enjoy food from StarBistro.

Nikki Budding, from Colour Connection in Gloucester, took part in the walk to celebrate her 40th birthday.

“It was fantastic. Would I do it again? I’d do it tomorrow. It’s just such a great feeling,” said the business development manager.

“The fire walk was a fantastic event to mark National Star’s 50th anniversary,” said Gill Henry, Head of Fundraising.

“Fundraising has been vital to National Star’s development. The generosity of the companies and individuals who support us, enables more young people with complex disabilities to benefit from National Star’s specialist environments, facilities and equipment.”

All pictures by Cave Studios