During the first lockdown in 2020, Maggie Dopson, co-owner of the Five Ash Down Post Office and Village Shop, walked eight miles a day to deliver groceries to the village residents who were unable to go out. When the country then went into lockdown once again in January 2021, Maggie decided that she would raise money for charity while she walked.

‘My daughter is supposed to be walking 50km along the River Thames with her friend in memory of her friend’s mum, Angela, who was cared for by St Wilfrid’s,’ she told us. ‘It has already been postponed once due to the pandemic, so I thought why not help to raise money in the meantime. Angela was a lovely lady.’

She continued: ‘Using the My Virtual Mission app, I plotted a virtual walk from Lands’ End to John O’Groats and back, which totalled about 2,000 miles. I put a poster up in the shop window to keep people updated with my progress and I wore my ruby red St Wilfrid’s Hospice T-shirt while I walked.

‘It became a talking point. Even with random passers-by coming past the shop saying, “I’ve seen you walking!” Everyone was so supportive.’

Rain or shine, Maggie walked around her local area and often further, around Crowborough, Robertsbridge and along the Cuckoo Trail to reach her target. ‘I have been through three pairs of walking boots!’ she said.

Making it a true ‘lockdown challenge’, Maggie completed her 2,000 miles on Sunday 11th July - just in time for the lifting of the final lockdown restrictions on the 19th July.

‘I had 16 miles to go, but I was determined to finish and not let the challenge go into another week,’ she said. ‘I set off at 2pm and told my husband to come and pick me up at 7pm. I wanted to be back to watch England in the final of the Euros. I had to call my husband to tell him I would be longer, but I managed to get home with 15 minutes to spare!’

We are so grateful to Maggie for all the money that she has raised while doing this challenge. If you would like to take on a challenge for St Wilfrid’s Hospice, contact our Fundraising Team on 01323 434241 or email [email protected]. They will be more than happy to support you along the way with ideas and advice, and can even send you a St Wilfrid’s T-shirt or running vest!