Five put on walking boots for charity challenge

It was a case of best feet forward and stepping up to the challenge when five office workers went wild in the country in aid of charity.

The intrepid group, from London-based accountants Grunberg & Co, braved the wettest May in recent history to take on a 100-mile challenge to raise more than £1,000, for the mental health charity MIND.

The five who took part were Sarah Dorey, Ethlyn James, Asha Kara, Kate Berneye and Chris Digby-Rogers.

The 100 Miles in May is a fundraising challenge for Mind, where people complete the distance within the month. Participants could clock up miles however they wanted – running, walking, or a bit of both.

For the team it was a welcome release from months of lockdown, proving both a physical and mental challenge. Team leader Sarah said the feeling of achievement was a great mental boost and was delighted with the amount of funds raised.

She said: “It was such a great challenge to take part in and actually was much more of a challenge than I initially thought. You get a feeling of achievement after you complete a walk or run with the rain and winds literally holding you back.”

Each of the team said they gained something from the experience while helping a worthy charity, raising fitness levels and improving their mental wellbeing.

Chris added: “Being cooped up for Christmas has taken a mental toll on all of us and finally having the opportunity to not only go out, but see everyone else doing the same, has been an invaluable boost to mood and a great segue into summer.

“I’ve taken it as an excuse to get out of the city and go as far as Snowdonia, spending some proper personal time with my friends on the way which has been sorely missed lately.”

There was no set route for the team, who were all working from home and live in different areas. They chose their own walks and kept each other up to date with progress on a dedicated Microsoft Teams Walking channel, which the whole firm could see.

Kate lives around St Albans but went on holidays to Aldeburgh, while Chris lives around Hampstead and also mixed walking locally with holiday breaks. Sarah did most of hers on local walks, with some along the Great River Ouse but also on a break to the Lincolnshire Wolds.  Asha and Ethlyn walked locally around Colindale and Kingsbury.

Kate also loved the challenge, she said:  “I really enjoyed taking part, as not only did we raise money for a fantastic charity, but it also encouraged me and my family to get out into the fresh air and discover local walks that we didn’t know were so close!”

Asha set herself a target of four miles daily and said the challenge was for a great cause and a good way to stay active.

She said: “I kept to a routine where I would go for a walk at lunchtime which helped me stay active and move away from my desk. I also walked after I had finished for the day which was a great way to unwind and clear my thoughts.”

Ethlyn clocked up 142 miles and said she is still going strong.

“I am an early riser,” she said.  “I ventured out early to achieve the miles, enjoy fresh air and a clear mind.”

For Sarah there is no letting up. She added: “I also didn’t really appreciate how much fitter I would feel – this has also been a huge benefit. I encourage everyone to get walking and join in the next 100-mile challenge.

Anyone wishing to make a contribution to this great charity should visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Grunberg-Co2-Mind

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