Excitement was in the air as 60 walkers and wheelers prepared to Walk the MS Mile from RAF Halton up the hill to reach the Chilterns MS Centre for a celebration tea.
This final walk brought to a close a massive month of fundraising which took in 30 walks of one mile each, every day in September.
Linda Oatley, chairman of the trustees of this local Multiple Sclerosis (MS) charity, said: “I wanted to find a fitting way to mark our 30th Anniversary of supporting local people with MS. We walked a mile each day for a month in 30 different locations. Our fundraising target was £30,000 and we have totally smashed this raising a massive £54,000 and sponsorship and donations are still pouring in!”
More than 750 supporters took part in the walks, including school children such as those from Halton Combined School which joined the final Halton mile. For some of the participants, many of whom have MS, it has been a challenge to join their local mile.
RAF Halton Station Commander, Group Captain Adrian Burns, who set the walkers off on this final mile said: “It makes me immensely proud to be linked with the Chilterns MS Centre. The work is so vital to help sufferers live a full life. I am pleased that station personnel turned out to walk or push a wheelchair.”
Walk the MS mile has been supported by local businesses across Bucks, Herts, Beds and Oxon with generous donations of time, money and vital sustenance for the walkers.
The charity has already received calls from potential new patients, another aim of the Walk the MS Mile initiative. The centre believes there are still hundreds with MS in the local community that they could help.
It turned a dream in to reality for Linda, who walked and wheeled each mile with her wing-woman Sarah McCready, said: “It has been an exhausting but amazing month, a truly fitting way to mark our 30th anniversary. I am absolutely delighted and overwhelmed by the support we have had.”
The money raised will go towards the £900,000 it takes for the centre to deliver more than 17,000 sessions of treatments such as physiotherapy, acupuncture, hydrotherapy and hyperbaric oxygen therapy to its 483 members each year.