Mother’s 175-mile walk across England in son’s memory raises £6,000 for young people’s charities

Diana Seller and her dog Honey at the end of the walk.

Diana Seller and her dog Honey at the end of the walk. - Credit: Archant

A mother has marked what would have been her late son’s 30th birthday by striding 175 miles from his childhood home to the hamlet where the family used to go on holiday – and raised £6,000 for charity in the process.

Diana Seller from Todds Green has raised the money for charities involved with young people in memory of her son Mark, who died three years ago at the age of 27.

Donations have smashed Diana’s initial fundraising target of £3,000 – including Gift Aid, her total is now double that.

“I’m amazed,” she said. “People have been extremely generous.”

The cash is to be split between three charities – Phase, which helps school workers and young people in Hitchin, Centrepoint, which helps young homeless people in the UK, and United Nations children’s charity Unicef.

Diana explained before setting out: “I just really want to do something positive and worthwhile for charities that support young people.

“It will also help me, in a way, because it’ll give me time to think and ponder. It’s a bit like a pilgrimage in a way.”

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The walk took 17 days, including three rest days, and the 67-year-old found it easier than she thought she would.

She arrived in Lugg Green in Herefordshire on May 9 – Mark’s birthday.

“I was a bit concerned I might get lost, but I downloaded the maps onto my phone and that was quite helpful,” she said.

“I feel very pleased to have achieved this. I was a bit unsure I would get there but I was quite determined to. I actually quite enjoyed it.

“Other people joined me for bits and some of the time I was on my own, which I didn’t really mind. I saw some lovely parts of the countryside.

“People supporting me made such a difference. I had people sending me regular encouraging text messages, praying for me, taking time to walk with me and of course lots of people sponsored me – so I just wanted to say a big thank you to all of them.

“I feel this is a good way to have remembered Mark on his 30th birthday.”

If you would like to donate, search for Diana Seller on Virgin Money Giving.

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