Million metre man targets a million pennies
East Kent Group Leader, Clive Hudson, didn't much feel like going out for walks after his dog died so he decided he'd get his bike out and get exercise that way. Before long, his fundraiser's mind was whirring and he'd come up with the idea of cycling a million metres to raise a million pennies.
"I've committed myself to riding a million metres in my 75th year, which started on 27th September. I've done the first 100,000 metres in less than a month since then. Basically, a million metres is 1,000 kilometres, roughly 630 miles," said Clive.
The former music industry executive has a tighter grip on figures than most people and I believed him when he told me: "My target is to cycle a million metres and raise a million pennies, so if I succeed I shall have raised £10,000"
Missing his canine companion, Clive said he was aiming to complete his cycling challenge on the coastal path, the scene of the East Kent group's successful series of Walk to d’feet MND events, which have raised around £27,000 over the last three years.
"I live by the coast in Broadstairs and near the coastal pathway. Basically, I'm doing as much as I can of it on the pathway, purely because I don't fancy being on the roads much. It's there and it's nice to get out," he said.
For many volunteers arranging an event gives them the opportunity to raise awareness and bring into focus local issues for people affected by MND.
"This is about awareness raising as much as fundraising. I'm doing this to publicise the fact that East Kent has insufficient services for people with MND," says Clive.
"I want achieve a situation where nobody (in the region) has to travel more than one hour to get their treatment. At the moment people in East Kent are having to go into London which is an awful journey. Plus, you've got the problems of parking or public transport. There should be some facility in Kent."
Clive acknowledges the support he has received from the MND Association and especially thanked Southern Regional Fundraiser, Pam Fry, for her involvement in his Million Metre challenge.
"Pam will be able to give me support in the sense of bringing people onside when we need the right sort of people. She's also a very good sounding board to discuss ideas with," said Clive, who is always looking for fundraising ideas to go with the group's round of walks, quizzes, bake its and lunches.
Clive suggested the concept of a million metre challenge could be widened out, with branches and groups in other regions getting together to knock off the target, expanding the base of people participating.
"It's the concept of taking the idea of a million metres nationwide. If a group wanted to do it from, say, Yorkshire, why not? Let's all work with the same hash tags, with it all going out on social media."
You can view Clive's JustGiving page here.
Words by Keiron Henderson - Volunteer writer