Pensioner Walking 100 Miles to Raise Money for Disaster Relief Charity

A pensioner from Devon is walking 100 miles during August to raise funds for the international disaster relief charity ShelterBox.

Delia Kennedy, 78 who lives near Cullompton, was inspired to undertake the challenge after a conversation with her local vicar.  Delia will be sticking to local walking routes and will be accompanied by a furry companion called TT – a small teddy bear who rides in her backpack.

Ms Kennedy said: “This isn’t my first walking challenge. Last year I did the equivalent distance from John O’ Groats to Lands’ End (1109 miles) by walking locally so I thought another walking challenge would be a good idea.

“I’m grateful that at my age I have my health and can walk with ease and enjoyment. I still feel I’ve got the energy to walk 10 miles a day. Although, when I sit down at home now, I do find myself dropping off quickly!”

As a long-standing supporter of ShelterBox, the funds raised by Delia will help the charity support people who have had to leave their homes or had them damaged or destroyed because of extreme weather or conflict.

Delia, a retired social services assistant, continued: “It’s a nice feeling knowing I’m doing something to help and it’s keeping me fit, so I’m really enjoying it. Even in the bad weather I just think carry on and get on with it!

“I’d like to try and raise around £590, but because of the current financial climate, I don’t really have a target. Whatever we can do, we will do. I try and talk to as many people as possible about the work ShelterBox does because I think it’s brilliant.

“I’d also like to thank Exe Valley Rotary Club for its help with my fundraising efforts.” 

ShelterBox is currently helping people affected by conflict in Ukraine, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Cameroon, and Burkina Faso. It’s also responding to the worst drought to hit East Africa in 40 years.

Community Fundraising Officer for ShelterBox, Louisa Arnold, said: “We are in awe of Delia’s perseverance and determination, and so grateful for her ongoing support. 

“ShelterBox was founded in Cornwall in 2000 and since then we’ve supported more than 2.5 million people in around 100 countries. Every response is different and so we tailor our aid packages to the needs of disaster-affected people, listening to what communities need.

“This is only possible with support from people like Delia who, not only raise crucial funds, but also raise awareness for the charity’s work and the issues people are facing around the world.”

To find out more about the work ShelterBox do, visit their website.