An 88-year-old Exmouth woman dedicated to tackling a marathon in a month for Hospiscare has left the charity in ‘awe’ of her efforts.
Jenny Richardson, of Withycombe Raleigh, Exmouth, signed up to the hospice charity’s latest fundraiser in a bid to beat the lockdown blues, and has set up a JustGiving page for donations.
The pensioner, who will be accompanied by her pet dog, 11-year-old Alfie, said she was motivated to take part knowing her efforts would help others.
Jenny, who has an arthritic hip and uses a stick to walk, said: “Since March, Alfie and I haven’t had much motivation, but on one of my first outings after lockdown, I saw a poster for a Hospiscare challenge which said it was for any age or ability.
“I thought to myself, ‘I may not have much of the second attribute but I have plenty of the first’.
“It seemed exactly the motivation we needed and by signing up to walk Hospiscare’s Marathon in a Month, we can help others at the same time.”
She added: “It will be a challenge, especially on lazier days and when my arthritis plays up. But on those days, I shall think of the folk that have been given a terminal diagnosis and the huge challenges that they, and their families, have to face every day.”
Jenny and Alfie, who go for a short walk each day, will be putting their ‘best feet and paws forward’ strolling along routes though Exmouth, Phear Park, The Maer, the seafront and Woodbury Common.
The pensioner said she hopes passers-by will offer some encouragement with a ‘hello’ if they spot the pair.
Jenny said: “Since March, although Alfie and I got out for a short walk every day, neither of us have had much motivation.
“My arthritic hip began to play up and give way, and other long-term health problems began to surface again.
“When I saw the poster, I said to Alfie ‘this is what we need and if we can help others at the same time then we are all winners’ – and Alfie agreed.”
She added: “For the whole of October Alfie, my walking stick, and I will be putting our best feet and paws forward and walking throughout Exmouth, The Maer, Phear Park, our gorgeous Blue Flag beach and maybe even Woodbury Common.
“If you see us, please say ‘hi’.”
Marathon in a Month for Hospiscare runs throughout October. It costs £10 to register or £5 for children and dogs. For more information on how to sign up, see here.
Sarah Smith, head of public fundraising at Hospiscare, said: “I’m in awe of Jenny’s commitment to help Hospiscare care for local people facing a terminal diagnosis.
“As a small local charity, eighty-five per cent of our funding comes from people like Jenny who are determined to help others when they need it most.
“Hospiscare provides award-winning specialist end-of-life care and support for patients and their loved ones across the heart of Devon, so they can make the most of the remaining time they have together.
“We simply couldn’t provide that care without the support of our wonderful local community.”
She added: “The Marathon in a Month challenge really is for everyone. Keen runners can do it in one go or by completing two half marathons, while those of us less-fit can do a little bit every day.
“However, you do it is entirely up to you and participants also choose their own route.”
To donate to Jenny and Alfie’s Marathon in a Month challenge, see the JustGiving page here.