Pull on your hiking boots…or your wellies…or even your flip flops: on National Walking Day – April 4, 2019- the UK’s largest meningitis charity is inviting everyone to join their new Marathon Month challenge…reports Asian Lite News
Rather than running a complete marathon in a day, Meningitis Now is asking people to sign up to walk the full 26.2 miles over the course of a month – whether that be through 26 mini-walks, a couple of epic weekend treks, or any other combination of strolls and strides.
“This is a brilliant way to raise money for a great cause as well as getting out into the fresh air and doing a bit of healthy exercise,” said Meningitis Now community fundraiser Jo Wilson. She suggested there were many ways supporters could get involved, from taking your dog for a daily trot around the block to organising workplace lunchtime hikes.
“Use your imagination and come up with some fun ways to complete your marathon,” added Jo. “The best thing about this is that pretty much anyone can do it – you don’t need any training, or skills, or even specialist equipment.
“What I love about this is that you can just grab some friends, pull on some shoes – and go!
“And what better reward do you need at the end of your walks than knowing all the money you’ve raised will be going to supporting people who live with the impact of meningitis?”
Meningitis is inflammation of the membranes that surround and protect the brain and spinal cord; usually caused by bacteria or viruses. Some bacteria that cause meningitis can also cause septicaemia. There are currently around 2,000 cases of bacterial meningitis in the UK and 6,000 cases of viral meningitis each year – equivalent to 22 a day. Certain age groups are more susceptible – the under 5s are most at risk, particularly those under the age of one; teenagers and young adults and older adults, particularly those over 65. Many people who contract meningitis and septicaemia will make a good recovery, but some will suffer physical, neurological and psychological after-effects.
One Meningitis Now supporter who plans to get involved is Julia Styles, who lost her daughter Emily to meningitis aged just 19 in 2014.
Julia has supported the charity for years following her daughter’s tragic death. “Kind, thoughtful” Emily died on New Year’s Day just before she was about to take up a place at university to study to become a special needs primary school teacher.
Since then, mum Julia has raised or donated thousands of pounds to Meningitis Now, as well as been involved in other fundraising efforts.
She said she loved the simplicity of the Marathon Month challenge. “It’s such a great idea to get involved in something like this that anyone can do, at any time of the year.
“What I really like about this is the idea of bringing a group together to do something for a great charity.
“We all know that physical exercise is good for you – including walking. But I also think we can underestimate the positive mental health benefits.
“As someone who has been bereaved and had to cope with a lot of grief, I find getting out into the fresh air can be really healing.”
“And what better reward do you need at the end of your walks than knowing all the money you’ve raised will be going to supporting people who live with the impact of meningitis?”To find out more about Marathon Month and to join the challenge please visit the Meningitis Now website now. (www.meningitisnow.org)
Meningitis Now is the founder of the meningitis movement and the only charity dedicated to fighting meningitis in the UK. With over 30 years’ experience, it is working towards a future where no one in the UK loses their life to meningitis and everyone affected gets the support they need to rebuild their lives.