A kind-hearted granddad from Stratford is losing pounds – whilst also raising pounds – for local causes in lockdown.
Fifty-six-year-old Steve May has vowed to walk 500,000 steps a month in aid of 12 different charities throughout 2021 – the equivalent to 6 million steps – or 3,000 miles – the width between the east and west coast of America.
The fundraising fitness regime comes on the back of a new-found love for walking which started in lockdown last March and has seen him shed three-and-a-half stone in weight.
Steve, who has lived in Stratford all his life, said: “I had to shield and work from home so I took advantage of the one hour’s exercise every day and it built up from there. I walked every day since 14th March last year and really enjoyed appreciating the great outdoors.
“It’s also been good for me on a personal level because it’s improved my physical and mental fitness. It means I’ve been able to reduce my medication for high blood pressure and don’t have to wear a mask at night for sleep apnoea anymore, all due to the weight loss.
“Also, if I can do it and enjoy it and raise money for different charities then that makes it even more rewarding.”
Until the end of March Steve, an operational support analyst at Sitel in Stratford, is walking in aid of Warwick children’s charity Molly Olly’s Wishes.
The charity was established in 2011 following the death of Rachel and Tim Ollerenshaw’s eight-year-old daughter Molly from a rare kidney cancer.
It works to support children with terminal or life-limiting illnesses and their families and help with their emotional wellbeing as well as grant wishes and donate therapeutic toys and books to both children directly and to hospitals throughout the UK.
Mascot of the charity is a therapeutic toy lion called Olly The Brave who has his own Hickman line and a detachable mane which helps to explain and normalise the effects of chemotherapy. These form part of an Olly The Brave pack that has now been handed out to more than 40 hospitals, along with a book from the charity’s exclusive Olly The Brave series.
Part of more than £2.5m raised to date, has also been used to fund the first Molly Olly consultant in paediatric medicine at Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Other charities lined up to benefit include MIND, Warwickshire and Northamptonshire Air Ambulance and two charities particularly close to Steve’s heart following his father’s death four years ago, Myton Hospice and Blood Cancer UK.
Charity founder Rachel Ollerenshaw said: “All The team at Molly Olly’s were very grateful when Steve got in touch to say that we were one of his chosen charities for his 12 months of fundraising. It is great challenge that will help raise much-needed funds for many different organisations including Molly Olly’s which is very much appreciated.
“So many charities have struggled as we are not able to fundraise as usual at a time when we have seen an increase in demand for our services. Every pound counts so please support Steve with his February challenge.”
Further information about Molly Olly’s Wishes or how to donate can be found at: www.mollyolly.co.uk
To donate to Steve’s fundraising, visit: http://www.justgiving.com/Stephen-May7