PM awards outstanding ‘Walks to d’feet MND’ volunteers
The Prime Minister has recognised Claire Pedrick and Margaret Gray, from Letchworth, for their volunteering work establishing ‘Walks to d’feet MND,’ a monthly local half marathon walk.
In summer 2016 Margaret’s husband and their friend Pete were both diagnosed with motor neurone disease. Following this, Claire and Margaret were inspired to create the monthly half marathon walk in their local community in aid of the Association. Since its inception the walk has now attracted over 300 attendees.
Each month for a whole year, the pair have brought together their community to walk the half marathon, with the ambition of raising £50,000, with each £100 representing the 5,000 people in the UK affected by the disease. The pair have raised £37,000 and are aiming to reach their target on 6 January 2018 at their final event, where they will be presented with this award by their local MP, Rt. Hon Sir Oliver Heald QC.
Claire and Margaret are the latest recipient of the Points of Light award, which recognises outstanding volunteers who are making a change in their community and inspiring others. Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.
In a personal letter to Claire and Margaret, Prime Minister Theresa May said:
“Following John and Pete’s diagnosis of motor neurone disease, your decision to dedicate your time to raise money through regular half marathon events in your community is truly remarkable. Thanks to your enthusiasm and tenacity you have grown a simple idea into the Walk to d’feet MND monthly event. You should be very proud of the money you have raised in memory of your friend Pete, and the work you are doing to support the MND Association.”
Claire and Margaret said:
“We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received this year around a disease that brutally takes life with no treatment or cure. The walks have been life giving to us all and our achievement has come from hundreds of people – miles walked, cakes baked, tea served and money given. It’s been so much more than a few walks. It’s a community. We’re not stopping!”
Chris James, Director of External Affairs said:
“Huge congratulations to Claire and Margaret on being recognised by the Prime Minister with Point of Light Awards. As a charity we rely heavily on our volunteers to raise awareness of a disease that doesn’t get the attention of some others and also to raise funds for global research.
From what started nearly a year ago with just ten people on a walk, has become a hugely successful fundraising effort and it’s all down to their incredible drive and passion to make a difference to people affected by MND.
Inspired by Margaret’s husband John, who has MND, and his friend Peter Jackson who sadly died last September they used their networks of friends and family, as well as the support of their local North and East Branch of the MND Association. All the walkers involved (from six-year-olds to 80!) should be extremely proud of what they have achieved and Claire and Margaret say they haven’t stopped yet!”
Claire and Margaret are the 876th and 877th winners of the Points of Light award, which has been developed in partnership with the hugely successful Points of Light programme in the USA.
Over 6,000 Points of Light have been awarded in the USA, and former Presidents have publicly supported the partnership with Points of Light UK. There is a similar cross-party approach to the UK programme and MPs from different parties often present their constituents with their Points of Light awards.
Regardless of whether it’s a doctor restoring local monuments in her free time, a father teaching young people life skills, or a local musician giving a voice to lonely people, the Points of Light award honours shining examples of volunteering across the UK.
Thanks to Sam Aylard for sending us the video.