The current pandemic situation in England has meant that we are left with no choice but to postpone our fundraising plans (130-mile walk in 7 days), originally scheduled for May. The following press release explains the reasons behind this extremely tough decision.


PRESS RELEASE (06/02/2021)

As some of you are aware, I have been deliberating on what to do regarding my planned fundraiser in May of this year.

As mentioned on my social media, I gave myself until the end of January to see what happened with regards to the pandemic, my health and other factors.

I have now made that decision and it is with regret that I cannot go ahead with my plans for the walk to take place in May of this year. 

Although my wife and I have now had our first vaccination shot, we both work in the NHS and see the very real and scary situation we are in on a daily basis. The vaccination offers hope, as does the amazing roll-out taking place in this country but with the new strains, I cannot see a future where in just a few weeks, it will be safe for me to stay in other people’s houses and travel 130 miles around the county, eating in various places, sharing public transport etc. – especially as the efficacy of the vaccine is unproven as yet in the immunosuppressed, such as myself.

There are other factors involved in my decision, too. Due to shielding, I have been in just one shop since February 2020 – meaning I haven’t even acquired my equipment yet and restrictions to my treatments, such as ‘virtual’ physio sessions, have really hampered my ability to train to the level I would like. 

The final part of my decision was around the fundraising. I have always said I want this to be an event, not just a fundraiser. My original plan had me doing car boots, bake sales, fundraising at work etc. by now. Current restrictions have put pay to all of these ideas, along with people joining me on the walk itself. Make no mistake, this walk is going to cripple me for weeks after the event – it doesn’t feel right doing it when I know I could raise 3-4 times as much (and more in awareness) under normal circumstances.

This event isn’t cancelled, just postponed. I will wait another month or two before thinking if this is something we can arrange for later in the year or if it needs to be pushed back to next year. I originally picked May because of the significance, having been on crutches in May 2020 and none of this pandemic situation felt like it would still be an issue when I arranged that date – so I certainly don’t want to underestimate it twice.

I feel that this is the safest and most sensible approach to take and whilst people are falling ill at an alarming rate, the right one morally too. I’m sure you’ll be as disappointed as I, but I hope you understand.

Please note that I will keep the fundraising page open to accept donations until the new event date is announced as although I have had to cancel original plans, it doesn’t change the fact that charities such as Versus Arthritis are in desperate need for funds given the events of the last year.

Thank you for your understanding and please stay safe, wear a mask and stay at home.

Joel.


We have temporarily taken down the fundraiser page on this website, whilst I update it with this new information, but as stated in our press release, the JustGiving page will remain open for donations whilst we plan a new date. If you would like to sponsor me and provide much-needed funding to the UK’s leading arthritis charity, then please give what you can here.

Thank you for your support and understanding with this difficult decision – nobody is more disappointed than I.