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“I KNEW I HAD TO DO SOMETHING”: GRANDMOTHER COMPLETES EASTER FUNDRAISING MARATHON…FROM HER GARDEN IN SOMERSET

Joanna Stevens, grandmother of two, walked 56,160 steps and raised more than £2,000

73-year-old Grandmother Joanna Stevens completed a marathon fundraising effort this weekend, walking 234 laps of her Somerset garden to raise money for Save the Children’s Coronavirus appeal.

Despite ‘dodgy knees’ and suffering from asthma, Mrs Stevens walked 16 miles on Good Friday and finished the remaining 10 miles by Saturday lunchtime.

Joanna battled blisters and high temperatures, but in total, she racked up 56,160 steps and raised more than £2000.

When asked about her reasons for walking a marathon Joanna said: “I’ve always gone for a walk every day. When I got an email from Save the Children about the terrible difficulties families are facing here in the UK as a result of the Coronavirus crisis, I knew I had to do something.

“I’ve never done a marathon and I don’t go to the gym, but I thought, ‘Well let’s walk with a purpose. Let’s do a marathon’. I set up a JustGiving page, walked 56,000 steps and went around the garden 243 times. There is a quite a track round the edge now!”

With temperatures reaching 18 degrees in Somerset over the weekend, she added, "I did think I was going to melt at times. But once you've told people what you're doing and you’ve asked them for donations, you've got to keep going.  The only injury was a big blister on the sole of my foot. I dealt with it and carried on walking - grabbing a few overgrown weeds en route. I did make one slight diversion though, which was via the freezer in the garage where I remembered there were some mini ice creams. I’m a mother and grandmother: I can multitask - walk and eat at the same time!”

Gemma Sherrington, Save the Children’s Executive Director of Fundraising and Marketing said: “Joanna’s tenacity is inspiring and we’re really grateful that she set herself this challenge and completed it. Even before the Coronavirus outbreak, four million children lived in poverty in the UK and we can’t let this number rise.

We have launched an emergency appeal to raise money for our work helping children survive and thrive both here in the UK and around the world - and it is acts of generosity like Joanna’s that make this all possible. Together, we’ll help families through this.”

Save the Children UK has launched a raft of initiatives to help vulnerable British families who are feeling the economic effects of the crisis most acutely. These include an Emergency Grant Fund which gives families access to food vouchers, gifts in kind and goods such as beds, tables and chairs, thus enabling families to build suitable home learning environments. The children’s charity is also distributing early learning packs and advice to parents and carers, so children can continue learn and thrive from within the confines of the home.

Joanna’s JustGiving page is open until October: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Jo-Stevens46

For further information and to donate to Save the Children’s Coronavirus Appeal please visit: www.savethechildren.org.uk

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For more information or to arrange an interview with Joanna please contact the Save the Children press office on media@savethechildren.org.uk / 0203 763 0589

Notes to editors

About Save the Children

Save the Children fights every single day for children’s futures. We stand side by side with children in the toughest places to be a child. In places where others won’t go, we’re there, giving everything to make sure they survive, get protected, and have the chance to learn. Every child should get to make their mark on the world and build a better future for us all. For more information visit www.savethechildren.org.uk

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