A record 150 people took part in hospice charity ellenor’s Walkathon on Sunday 25 September, which saw supporters walk the 26 miles from Tower Bridge back to ellenor Gravesend.
Among those who undertook the challenge – to raise vital funds for families facing terminal illness - was Jenny Sherburn, Physiotherapist at ellenor.
“I took part in the Walkathon because I’ve always wanted to do a marathon – I know I could never run one, so when the opportunity to walk one presented itself, I knew I had to do it,” says Jenny. “I love a challenge and I love walking, exercising and seeing how far I can push myself.”
In her role as ellenor’s Physiotherapist, Jenny promotes the benefits of exercise, movement and maintaining muscle strength to keep up fitness and independence.
“Our patients have goals to stay in their own homes, manage stairs, avoid falls and hospital admissions and part of their holistic treatment is the exercise prescription that comes from the Physiotherapist,” says Jenny. “This is why supporting ellenor is so important, as it provides patient centred palliative care to so many people. The Walkathon gave me the chance to indulge my own sense of adventure and achievement – while raising money for this amazing charity.”
Jenny and her friends completed the Walkathon in six hours and 29 minutes - an hour and a half quicker than they expected.
"The atmosphere was lovely, with lots of support from the amazing volunteers at the check points and lots of horn honking and waves from passing cars,” says Jenny. “My legs were sore afterwards but, in true physio style, the ice packs went on! It was a great day with an amazing sense of achievement knowing we've walked ourselves that far! And I'm so grateful to all our sponsors supporting such an important local charity, final total yet to be confirmed but I'm at £400+."
Also taking part was Samantha Warwicker, mum of one of our young patients, five-year-old Harry Woodgate from Northfleet. She walked with her friend Charmaine Rowswell.
Samantha says she was keen to give ellenor 'something back' for the care we give Harry and her family. She says: “Without ellenor by our side, Harry would be in hospital nearly all the time and we simply wouldn’t cope. It feels like we’re one big team – us and ellenor. We don’t feel like we’re making decisions alone; we make decisions between us.”
Samantha said after the walk: “It was really good – but really hard. I ache so much, but I am incredibly proud of myself. Charmaine and I can’t thank the volunteers from ellenor enough for their encouragement on each of the check points – particularly at the last one, telling us the hospice was ‘just around the corner’.”
The ellenor Winter Walk is taking place on Sunday 11 December at Shorne Woods Country Park. Visit www.ellenor.org/events for more information.