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Woman with learning disabilities steps up to charity challenge

A woman with learning disabilities is clocking up the miles by walking 14km in laps of her garden to raise £1,000 for the charity which supports her.

Linda lives at a service in Stonehouse run by Hft, a national charity supporting adults with learning disabilities.

The 59-year-old has been supported at the service since 2007 and wanted to do something to give back to the charity that has helped her through the pandemic.

Linda has been enjoying walking laps of her garden over the last year to boost her health and wellbeing.  She decided to put her daily exercise towards a good cause as part of Hft’s Valentine’s Day-themed 1.4 Challenge, which saw the charity asking fundraisers to raise money by taking on activities based around the numbers one and four.

After kicking off her walking challenge on February 15, Linda is hoping to complete it in under a month. She already has 110 of the 233 laps needed under her belt and has raised nearly £700 in her challenge so far.

Cheering Linda on are her support workers, who have helped her to create a wall chart to keep tracks of her completed laps and the donations coming in.

They have also joined Linda during her walks to keep her motivated and supported her to personally thank people for their donations.

Linda’s housemates are also embracing the challenge and have planned a celebratory party, complete with a disco and cake, for when the she crosses the finish line.

Linda said: ‘I’m really enjoying my challenge so far even though it can be difficult.

‘I’m not giving up, I keep pushing myself and thinking ‘just one more lap’, to keep myself motivated! You don’t know what you can do unless you try. I’m doing this for Hft and my support team, who keep me safe and well.’

All funds raised are set to go towards Hft Gloucestershire, where social care staff have been working creatively to provide person-centred support through the pandemic.

Linda lives with six other adults with learning disabilities, who have spent the last year being supported to take part in a range of meaningful activities while being unable to spend as much time in their local community.

This has ranged from running craft competitions aimed at soothing anxieties around the pandemic to maximising the use of outdoor spaces and encouraging outdoor exercise.

Emma Macdonald, Hft’s sports and challenge events manager, said: ‘We are so proud of Linda for embracing our 1.4 Challenge to raise funds that will support other people with learning disabilities to live the best life possible.

‘The last year has been incredibly difficult for everyone, and it’s so inspiring to see people like Linda going above and beyond, with her fantastic support workers by her side. We’re wishing her all the luck in the world.’

To donate to Linda’s challenge, visit her fundraising page.

Photo Credit – Hft

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