Kent woman to take on Chiltern 50 Challenge
A 47-year-old woman from Deal, in Kent, is putting her mind and body on the line in an attempt to raise much needed funds for a national disabled children’s charity.
Kirsty Allen, aims to complete the 2020 Chiltern Challenge, a 50 Kilometre sponsored walk that covers some of the best Chiltern Hills countryside, in aid of Caudwell Children, the charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families.
Kirsty’s walk will be part of Caudwell Children’s #Team20 celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of the charity’s foundation.
Throughout 2020 Caudwell Children is encouraging people to engage with the charity in a number of ways, like taking part in a fundraising event, volunteering for the charity, or raising awareness of the charity’s services, in order to join their #Team20.
Kirsty decided to undertake the challenge, which will take place on Saturday 26th September, 2020, after the charity supported her autistic son, Sam, when he was just two years of age.
“I was told about Caudwell Children by a fellow autism mum and I have to say the staff at the charity are angles,” explained Kirsty. “Even though Sam is now 17 we have never forgotten them and I felt compelled to fundraise for the charity in its 20th anniversary year.”
Originally from Longfield, in Kent, Kirsty says the challenge is one of a number walks that she will be undertaking throughout the year to support the charity. “I also plan to do a number of sponsored walks over the Dover cliffs,” she said. “I’ll do them with Sam, and whatever friends choose to join me!”
The Chiltern 50 will give Kirsty, a trained Counsellor, the chance to walk along a number of historic trails, set amidst stunning rolling hills, in an area of outstanding natural beauty.
The 50 kilometre looped route starts and finishes in Henley-on-Thames, and the challenge also includes a Saturday night celebration barbecue.
The Chilterns is a range of hills that form a chalk slope across Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire.
Kirsty, who is married with two sons, says that she wasn’t sporty as a youngster. As she exclaimed: “I didn’t like sport at all! However, I’ve always been the outdoorsy type and I’ve always enjoyed walking.
“My husband is extremely fit and runs marathons and as a family we spend a lot of times outdoors, which is one of the reasons we chose to live by the coast.
“We all surf and we also do a lot of road cycling, but I also ensure that I walk once a week.”
In the build up to the Chiltern 50, Kirsty, who was a pupil at Saint George’s School in Gravesend, will be walking longer distances in preparation for the challenge.
Kirsty initially set her fundraising target at £200 but has already smashed it by raising an impressive £759.
“I just want to continue raising money for the charity as they helped my son and the family so much,” Kirsty concluded. “Sam is now at college and lives a very active life, and much of that is down to the support that Caudwell Children gave him.”
Vicky Glanville, from Caudwell Children, is urging the public to support Kirsty’s muscle sapping efforts. She said: “The money that Kirsty raises will help the children that the charity supports to reach their full potential.
“It will enable us to continue funding specialist equipment, like powered wheelchairs, car seats, buggies and sports equipment, as well as access to a number of therapies and treatments, short break activity days, and in-hospital and in-home support.
“Our services are not available through statutory measures so it’s vital that the public support our fundraising efforts in order that we continue to fill the gap in provision for disabled children.”
You can support Kirsty by donating on her Just Giving page here.
To find out more about Caudwell Children’s services visit the web page here.