Stevenage pensioner inspired by Captain Tom Moore steps up for 2.6 Challenge

Anne Coffin is completing 5,750 steps in support of the Mascular Society: Picture: Supplied

Anne Coffin is completing 5,750 steps in support of the Mascular Society: Picture: Supplied - Credit: Archant

A pensioner from Stevenage is stepping up for the 2.6 Challenge to raise vital funds for a sight loss charity close to her heart.

Anne Coffin has pledged to walk 5,750 steps – the equivalent of 2.6 miles – by this coming Sunday in support of the Macular Society.

The 89-year-old was diagnosed with macular disease 10 years ago, leaving her with only limited sight in her left eye. She has been a member of the Macular Society ever since, and was one of the founding members of the charity’s peer support group based in Stevenage.

The 2.6 Challenge launches on Sunday, April 26 which is when the London Marathon was due to be held before its cancellation due to COVID-19.

Anne was inspired to take on the challenge after following the heroic efforts of war veteran Captain Tom Moore, who has raised more than £27 million for the NHS by completing 100 laps of his garden ahead of his 100th birthday.

Anne said: “I’ve been following Captain Tom’s challenge and I thought: Well, if he can do that, so can I’. It’s difficult, not really being able to see what I’m doing, but I always say that sight loss doesn’t affect me because I won’t let it.”

Anne’s daughter, Sara Perkes, said that she has done “just over 2,000 steps so far, mainly around the home,” but in the last couple of days Anne has managed to “walk to the nearest bus stop and back, and completed a short walk around the block.

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“It’s really important for older people to stay active and keep moving during the lockdown, so it’s going to be really good for Mum to have this challenge to focus on,” Anne added.

Healthy Stevenage is encouraging residents to take part in the 2.6 Challenge, which is open to residents of any age. The only requirement is that the activity must follow the Government guidelines on exercise and social distancing.

Stevenage borough councillor Jeannette Thomas, executive member for housing, health and older people, said: “We’re encouraging everyone to get active whilst being able to raise vital funds for charities.

“Residents can take part in 2.6km run, 2.6 minute plank, jumping jacks for 2.6 minutes or join a 2.6 hour Zumba-thon and so much more. Our Healthy Stevenage partners have created a wide variety of resources to ensure online activities remain inclusive.”