Meet the visually impaired fundraiser from Warwick aiming to walk five millions steps this year
A visually impaired fundraiser from Warwick is going strong in his challenge to walk five millions steps this year.
Warwickshire Vision Support trustee Martyn Parker, who is visually impaired, has to walk an average of 13,698 steps every day to complete his goal.
Martyn has been involved with Warwickshire Vision Support for more than 30 years and he is using this challenge to raise money for charity.
Martyn has now passed the halfway mark. Talking about his challenge so far he said: “The support I have received on social media has been fantastic.
"When I go on my walks across the Warwick racecourse to get my steps in, I’m always wearing my Warwickshire Vision Support high-visibility jacket and people often stop me for conversations to learn more.
"I’ve even had people pull out their wallets and hand me money when they learn about the challenge.
“Still more needs to be done to reach our £1,850 target but so far the support has been overwhelming.”
When asked what inspired him to take on the challenge, Martyn said: “Honestly, the whole thing just made sense to me.
"WVS have a 111-year history of supporting people in Warwickshire with sight loss and have been personally involved with Warwickshire Vision Support for over 30 years now, and they have helped and supported me tremendously as a visually impaired person.
"I am also currently a Trustee of the charity and wanted to do a fundraiser to help support the work that they do.
"Then on top of that, I have always enjoyed walking. Walking is also something I can do on my own, so a walking challenge just seemed like the logical thing to do.”
Martyn said the hardest part of the challenge has been trying to keep to the average daily steps but said the task has also helped him.
He said: “The hardest part so far I think for me, it’s been trying to keep the average steps up.
"I went away for a little while and only did 1,000 on some of the days when my average is meant to be over 13,000.
"Some days I do much over though, so for example one Sunday I managed 28,000, so I have faith that I will be done in time.
“One other thing that has been quite challenging, is earlier this year I unfortunately lost my beloved guide dog and dear friend Wheeler.
"We began this journey together and it’s been hard adjusting to life without him. Fortunately the five million steps has given me something to focus on.”
The fundraiser says he has also been surprised by the amount of support he has received.
“One thing that surprised me was the amount of support I have been given from family and friends”, said Martyn.
“I get a lot of positive comments and messages on social media which is always lovely to see.
"However, I think the most surprising thing is the fact that I’m somehow still enjoying it, but then again I’ve always enjoyed walking."
Martyn added: “I’d like to give a big thank you to everybody who has donated so far. Your support has truly meant a lot and I can’t thank you enough.”
To donate to Martyn’s fundraising page go to: https://localgiving.org/fundraising/Martyn-5Million-Step