At the beginning of the year, three fundraisers set themselves a challenge of walking 10,000 steps every day throughout January to raise awareness and funding for Launchpad – a charity that provides accommodation and support to homeless veterans.
Mandy Crompton, from Tayvallich on the West Coast of Scotland, has been clocking up the steps and enjoying long walks with her retired racing greyhound, Suilven.
Mandy who is also Launchpad’s Company Secretary started the challenge on New Year’s Day and is already smashing her daily target, reaching more than half of her target.
She said: “I heard about the challenge from one of our partners, Brendon Kenny and thought what a great idea. The 10K step challenge serves many purposes not only raising awareness and money for this wonderful veterans charity but it will also helps me stay focussed on being active and keeping fit throughout January plus, it’s any excuse to spend more time with Suilven.
“I got her in April 2021 from the Glasgow branch of the Greyhound Trust and she is just a dream to be with. She is 4 and was born in Ireland and moved to the UK for training. She ran 15 track races in Sunderland but retired in February 2021 following an injury.”
The 10K step challenge was initiated by Brendon Kenny, along with school friend Gary Pink. They are two friends from Wallasey in Liverpool and have known each other since they were five years old.
Brendon is a business entrepreneur and Chair of the British Irish Trading Alliance (BITA) and thought up the challenge to kick start the new year by keeping fit and active while raising money for a good cause.
He persuaded his good friend and veteran Gary Pink to join him, who didn’t have to think twice about participating. Gary actively takes on challenges to raise money for charities and served 22 years in the Royal Navy as a weapons engineer. He was on several vessels including HMS York, Leeds Castle, Dumbarton Castle, Liverpool, Southampton, and Albion and covered tours in the Persian Gulf, Gibraltar and the Falklands.
Gary said: “As a veteran, I know how difficult it can be to transition from service to civilian life and for some, they end up homeless which is just despicable in this day and age. These people have put themselves on the front line to serve their country and should never end up on the streets. If it wasn’t for charities like Launchpad which provides the specialist accommodation and tailored support these men and women need, then where else could they turn to?
“I’ve recently been raising funds for the RBLI and when Brendon told me about his challenge of walking 10,000 steps a day in January, I said I would join him and it will help me to achieve my New Year’s resolution of keeping fit and being more active while raising money for a brilliant charity close to my heart.”
You can support Mandy via her fundraising page at Just Giving at: www.justgiving.com/campaign/mandy10ksteps
Alternatively, you can support Brendon via his Just Giving page at: www.justgiving.com/page/launchpad-10000-steps
Launchpad provides vital accommodation and support for up to 100 veterans from all over the UK across three houses in Newcastle, Durham and Liverpool and helps veterans who have found the transition from the military to civilian life difficult.
The charity, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, has supported more than 600 veterans since 2013. 90% of the veterans who arrive at Launchpad are homeless and on average over the last five years, 61% of residents successfully moved on while 41% gained employment whilst at Launchpad.