DURING the COVID lockdown, over 500 people put on their walking shoes to take part in their virtual Walk Wales challenge – raising an incredible £32,000.
Despite being restricted to one hour a day of exercise due to the pandemic, 545 participants, of all ages, came out in force to show their support to the lifesaving charity.
The fundraisers were aged between 4 and 94. A lot of people exceeded their target distances, with some who even doubled or tripled their distance throughout the month.
Seven-year-old Llanelli schoolgirl, Olivia Davies, entered Walk Wales and chose the 52-mile distance – dressed as an inflatable unicorn. Rain or shine, Olivia and her proud mum Gemma spent each day walking to get the miles in. The Stebonheath School pupil is very proud of what she achieved and ‘is ecstatic’ to have raised £700.
The challenge took place over 32 days between April and May. It could be completed in the home, the garden, on a treadmill, taking the dog for a walk or going up and down the stairs, allowing participants to virtually walk the distance of the beautiful landscapes in Wales.
The ‘walkers’ set themselves a target based on the number of steps they could achieve. The choices ranged from the 9 miles of the Llanberis Path route of Snowdon to the 52-mile walk between Hay on Wye and Powis Castle.
90 percent of those who took part were fundraising for the Charity for the first time.
Like many charities across the UK, Wales Air Ambulance has seen a significant decrease in funds, due to fundraising events being cancelled and charity shops being forced to close. The pandemic saw the Charity launch its emergency appeal.
Steffan Anderson-Thomas, Charity’s Events Lead, said: “The Virtual Walk Wales challenge has been a massive success. To raise £32,000 in just a month is incredible but to hear that it was the first time 90 percent of the people taking part had fundraised for us makes it even more special.
“The pandemic continues to present us with huge fundraising challenges but the way that the people of Wales have responded to our calls for help has been overwhelming. Thank you to everyone who took part in Walk Wales to support your lifesaving charity.”