I’ve done it! I’ve completed my walk from Bath to Cardiff.
Also, I’ve exceeded my target.
Unfortunately I hadn’t achieved this last Friday when I finished the walk in James Street – but after a few phone-calls on Monday I was delighted to see I’ve now raised the money.
I have heaps of people to thank, so I thought I’d write a blog post to show how grateful I am for everybody’s support.
Firstly, I’d like to say thank you to Gary and Jane Brown from Llandudno.
After being told by someone I didn’t need to do any training, and if I just stood up for longer periods everything would be fine)thank goodness I ignored this ridiculous advice) Gary and Jane took me on some wonderful training walks in North Wales.
They even texted me on the last day of my walk from abroad to say how proud they were of me.
Also, a massive thank you to Pete Warren from the long distance walkers South Wales group who took me on some longer and varied walks in and around the Cardiff area.
He accompanied me on two days of the walk and has given me some brilliant advice about clothes, footwear and food.
Carol is an utterly delightful, fun and caring lady who volunteers for the Cardiff fundraising branch for guide dogs. We had some training walks together – and she brought Mum, Chelly and James to The Hayes to walk the last mile with us.
I’d ask any GDO in Cardiff to support Carol and her team by helping with store collections.
It seems to be the same people which help out time and time again, and we could all do our bit.
The Cardiff institute for the blind are an amazing organisation, and if anyone wants to volunteer/support them I’d urge you to do so.
Teresa and Michelle together with lovely local guide dog owner Sian organised and held a tea party to raise money for my name a puppy fund.
Many volunteers from CIB came, a lot of them on their days off, to make sandwiches and set things up.
As well as Sian, I’ve had a lot of support from Hilary Lester, who accompanied us on one of the days.
I met Trish and Mike with their two adorable dogs, puppy Morris and retired guide dog Rio.
They very kindly held a collection at Chepstow garden centre on my behalf, which was incredibly unexpected and thoughtful.
Andrew, a local Bristol guide dog owner helped us on Monday, and his knowledge of the area meant we could walk on some safer pavements.
I was very touched by the amount of people who turned out to walk with me.
It was an incredibly difficult walk at times, and I’d had no training along any part of the routes (which was no fault of any of my training partners).
Dennis from my church came on the first day and walked 15 miles from Bath to Bristol, which was brilliant!
Don, one of the LDWA walkers who’d walked three days with me on my last long distance adventure came from London just to walk across the old Severn bridge with me.
It was great seeing him again and meeting his lovely partner Jane.
I met lots of people from the long distance walkers groups in Bath, Bristol and South Wales, thank you so much for your support.
I can’t name everyone individually who’s donated, but I’d like to give a special thank you to the following groups of people.
The Calvary church friends, the members of the bridge clubs in North Wales, Queens Road church Llandudno and the very generous lions club in Llandudno.
My local Llandudno friends for standing on the prom (even on a really wet day) as part of a collection.
Simon and the staff at the Plumtree pub in Canton.
Phil and Cindy for holding two quizzes and raffles.
They’re an incredibly warm and friendly couple, who do so much for others.
Many people took sponsor forms to fill up on my behalf, and I’d like to thank Kate, Michael, Aunty Ann and Ruth.
Dave and Wendy from Designs and Signs in Canton produced and donated the T-shirts for the walk.
Many thanks and apologies for the relentless posts and updates to the twitter and Facebook friends. It paid off though, you and your friends are incredibly supportive.
Thanks to guide dogs Cymru and the people who drove us to and from the various points.
Lastly, and by no means least, the biggest thank you has to go to my Mum.
I did the walk to name a guide dog after my Dad John who died in 2012.
Mum and Dad have been my continued inspiration for everything I’ve done.
They’ve believed in me when others didn’t.
Mum came all the way from the other end of the country to help me.
She made all the meals, looked after the dogs and generally went above and beyond her motherly duties!
Thanks Mum, you’re the best!
So, have I forgotten anyone?
Chelsea and James of course!
I could have done a “Normal walk” but because of them I went the extra distance to do something entirely original.
Thank you little pupkins – I love you both very much!