Walk to d’feet MND

876. Claire Pedrick (Hertfordshire)
877. Margaret Gray (Hertfordshire)

Claire Pedrick and Margaret Gray, from Hertfordshire, created ‘Walks to d’feet MND’ in February last year after Margaret’s husband and their friend Pete were diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease.

Claire and Margaret were inspired to create a monthly half marathon walk in their local community in aid of ‘Motor Neurone
Disease Association’, which has now attracted over 300 participants. Each month for a whole year, the pair have brought together their community to walk half marathons, 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 6th January 2018 at their final event, where they will be presented with this award by their local MP, Sir Oliver Heald QC.

In a personal letter to Claire, 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’feed 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 MND Association.”

In a personal letter to Margaret, Prime Minister Theresa May said:

“Following the diagnosis of your friend Pete and your husband John with Motor Neurone Disease, you have responded to particularly challenging personal circumstances with real resilience. You should be very proud of bringing together your community in memory of your friend Pete, and I wish you every success in achieving your fundraising target of £50,000 for the ‘Motor Neurone Disease 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 at the Motor Neurone Disease (MND) Association, 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 Pedrick and Margaret Gray with their award from North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald (picture credit Rob Thornley)

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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