Letchworth £46,000 charity effort earns Prime Minister's recognition
PUBLISHED: 15:49 08 January 2018 | UPDATED: 18:16 08 January 2018
The organisers of a monthly half marathon walk that has raised almost £50,000 to fight motor neurone disease have been saluted by the Prime Minister.
Claire Pedrick and Margaret Gray led fundraisers around the 13.6-mile Greenway for a year as part of Letchworth Walks to d’Feet MND, and have raised more than £46,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association – almost four times their original £12,000 target.
They completed their final walk on Saturday, and have been recognised with one of the Prime Minister Theresa May’s Points of Light awards, which recognises outstanding community work.
Claire 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!”
Claire and Margaret started the walks after Margaret’s husband John and their friend Peter Jackson were diagnosed with motor neurone disease. They continued in Peter’s memory after he lost his battle in September.
More than 300 people have taken part in the walks since they began with just 10 people, with each aiming to raise at least £100.
The walkers have ranged in age from six to 80.
Claire and Margaret have received a personal letter from the Prime Minister, in which Mrs May called their efforts “truly remarkable”.
“Thanks to your enthusiasm and tenacity you have grown a simple idea into the Walk to d’feet MND monthly event,” the Prime Minister told them.
“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.”
The PM’s Points of Light award was presented to Claire and Margaret at the end of Saturday’s walk by North East Herts MP Sir Oliver Heald.
The MND Association’s Chris James saluted the Letchworth group’s “incredible drive and passion to make a difference to people affected by MND”, adding: “All the walkers involved should be extremely proud.”
The group is set to hold another walk on Saturday, April 14.