Charlie House is encouraging people across the North-east to walk, run, swim or cycle 1,000 miles during 2020.
The charity is running its annual 1,000 Mile Challenge for the third year. Participants are encouraged to travel the distance in any way they can, with money raised through sponsorship supporting the work of Charlie House across the region.
Susan Crighton, Director of Fundraising at Charlie House, says, "A new year brings the chance for new opportunities and new challenges. We are encouraging people across the North-east to walk, run, cycle or swim 1,000 miles during 2020. Whether you want to set a personal challenge or sign up family, friends or colleagues and share the distance, everyone can get involved in the 1,000 Mile Challenge.
"We were thrilled to have so many participants take part in the 2019 challenge and collectively travel almost 18,000 miles while supporting Charlie House, which it the equivalent to travelling from Lands End to John O Groats more than 20 times. We hope to have even more participants take part in 2020 and travel even further.
"Not only will signing up set you up for an incredible goal this year, but you will also be raising funds and awareness for the charity where every penny stays locally in the North-east helping children with complex disabilities and life-limiting conditions, and their families."
Aberdeen-born Alison Leith, 53, smashed the 2019 1,000 Mile Challenge by walking and running and then set herself a personal target of 2019 miles which she reached, more than double her initial target. She urges others to sign up to the 2020 challenge, saying, "The challenge to walk 2019 miles was a 1,000 mile target set by Charlie House, but whether it was down to my enthusiasm or good weather, I completed the 1,000 miles before June.
"It was a friend who said they would donate again if I doubled the challenge and walked 2019 miles in 2019. I've thoroughly enjoyed every mile. It's been a complete change of lifestyle for me. Until just over a year ago I was still smoking 20 a day and exercise didn't feature at all in my schedule.
"As the months progressed I got slightly bored with the walking and someone mentioned the Couch to 5K challenge so I joined Jog Scotland in Airdrie and trained for 10 weeks before taking on my first 5K run in November. Now I'm walking 15,000 steps a day and running three times a week.
"It's not just been a physical change for me, I've also reaped the mental wellbeing benefits and made new friends along the way. If anyone had told me last year that I'd have joined a running group I'd have laughed. But it just goes to show you really don't know what's ahead."
Participants of the 1,000 Mile Challenge can join a dedicated Charlie House Strava challenge to keep track of their miles and can also meet and connect with other participants in a private Facebook group.