One dark morning in January, whilst scrolling through my Facebook feed, I was presented with a post from Refuge. Walk 56 miles in February, it said, and raise vital funds for women and children escaping domestic violence. Now, although I’m happy to report that I have not been directly affected by domestic violence, the post really caught me.
Initially my thoughts were along the lines of 56 miles in 28 days, that’s easily doable. An average of 2 miles a day, I easily do that most weekdays when I walk to and from the clinic. And adding a few longer walks would be fairly easy to do. The sponsorship element adds a little extra motivation to get out there and move on the cold, dark, damp days. It’s called the 56 Mile Walking Challenge, and for me on a personal level “challenge” is quite a strong word to describe it.
Whilst the first to admit I’m no olympic athlete, I am reasonably healthy and able to walk without too much difficulty. After all, walking has been my route back to health after my Covid experience last year and I’ve enjoyed walking at a somewhat leisurely pace for years. Always the straggler at the back, day-dreaming and dawdling.
However, for many who are taking part in this sponsored event every step is filled with fear, anxiety, and countless other emotions and difficulties linked to their experiences of domestic violence in its many forms. They are showing enormous courage in not only taking part, but supporting and encouraging others taking these same steps.
So far I’ve clocked up 12 miles (I didn’t walk at the weekend) and counting! I have a bit of catching up to do if I’m going to reach that 56 mile target and every penny of your sponsorship (links to donate below) provides me with extra motivation, not to mention life saving help and safety for women and children who need to escape.
Women all over the UK, walking daily, separately yet together. I feel lucky to be walking amongst them and at the time of writing (just 7 days in) our collective fundraising total so far is £283,000
Please consider adding to that total, and huge thanks to those that already have. Every single step and every single penny counts.
You can donate and follow my progress on my Facebook fundraising page here
Or on my Just Giving page here
For more information about the work of Refuge take a look at their website here.
If you need help:
call the 24-hour Domestic Abuse Helpline 0808 2000 247
or visit www.nationalhelpline.org.uk