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The million step challenge for young onset dementia

We'd like to introduce you to Jennifer. She's taken on one heck of a challenge to walk a million steps (yes, a million steps) to raise funds and awareness for YPWD. Jennifer's kindly answered a few of our questions in between her walking sessions to tell us why she's doing it and how you can support her.

What is the challenge that you are undertaking, when is it taking place and why did you decide on this challenge?

The challenge is called the One Million Step Challenge. It started on May 1 and runs through to August 9.  The challenge is over 100 days and requires me to walk 10,000 steps a day. My reason for taking on the challenge was that I recently joined a gym to improve my fitness levels and thought this challenge would complement my work at the gym, while also allowing me to raise money for such a worthy cause.

Have you done similar challenges before this one, and if so, what were they?

The last challenge I took on was the Winter Walk back in January 2020. That was a 26.2 mile walk around London for DementiaUK.

Why have you decided to raise donations for YPWD?

YPWD have been a life-line for my family and I imagine there are lots of families in the local area that benefit from their services just as we do.  

Could you tell us some more about your own view/experience of YPWD?

My mum was diagnosed several years ago at the age of 52. It was a difficult time for the family and there was lots of uncertainty about what the future held. We were signposted to YPWD and it has been a great support network. Mum is able to access a range of activities supported by the staff and can meet other local people in similar circumstances to her. The support of YPWD throughout lockdown was amazing and I even managed to join in some of the art workshops via zoom.
If you were to describe YPWD to someone that had never heard of it, what would you say?

A local charity who working with people that have young onset dementia and their families. They provide support and a range of activities for the person with dementia and provide opportunities for socialisation and independence where possible.

For your challenge are you going it alone or do you have a buddy joining you?

I am doing this challenge alone, but I do take friends and family along for company on walks.                                                                                        

What would you say is the biggest risk or risks in undertaking this challenge and why?

The only real risks are crossing the roads when I am out walking but I make sure I cross in appropriate places and only walk during the day.

How far in miles is one million steps – where would you end up on the map if you walked in a straight line?

One million steps is the equivalent of approximately 450 miles. If I walked in a straight line I could get from Wokingham to Perth in Scotland!

What date do you hope to complete your challenge by?

My 100 day, end date is August 9 2021

What do you do when you are not walking one million steps for charity?

I am parent to two boys with additional needs, so life is always busy. Other than walking and being mum I can be found down the gym, socialising with friends, or spending time with family.

What would you say to encourage others to take part in a challenge for charity?

Go for it!! It is hard work but, definitely worth it.

It may be too early to say, but would you see yourself doing an even bigger challenge after this one?

I have actually already signed up to complete the virtual London marathon on 3 October 2021!

Finally, how can our YPWD friends support you on this awesome challenge?

There are many ways you can support me on my challenge. Just by reading this newsletter and helping to spread awareness of the great work that YPWD do. You can also donate to my fundraising page using the link below:

Support Jennifer's one million step challenge HERE



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