Supporting MND research through three walking challenges

Andrea and Ian on the Winter Walk in JanuaryAvid walkers Andrea and Ian Kitchen have bravely taken on a trio of walking challenges on behalf of their colleague Dr Naresh Patel. He has tragically been suffering with MND and has asked for fundraising efforts to go to the Sheffield Institute for Translational Neuroscience (SITraN), a cause close to his heart.

Andrea and Ian started with The Winter Walk, a 20K walk through London on a crisp January morning. Whilst most of us would have had our feet up in front of the fire at this time of year, the couple covered the distance in just over 3 hours. They also managed to finish in the top 100 competitors out of over 1000 people who took part in the walk.
As a warm-up for their biggest challenge the walking couple took part in The Cotswold Challenge. Between them, Andrea and Ian completed 150K. The scenery for this walk included breath-taking views of the Cotswold Way between Bath and Cheltenham, including many high and steep hills. To top this off, Andrea and Ian braved the walk in 35-degree heat, one of the hottest days of the year! Needless to say, the couple were relieved to finish the challenge.

Andrea and Ian have recently completed the Thames Path Challenge which took place over weekend of 8-9 September. Both Andrea and Ian completed the full 100K for this final walk, which started early in the morning from Bishop’s Park and wove west through the bustling London streets along the Thames Path and through peaceful picturesque countryside into Henley. They managed to complete the walk in an amazing 22 hours and 45 minutes including all of their breaks, 18 hours 55 minutes of pure walking!

Andrea and Ian on the starting line Andrea and Ian completing the Cotswold Challenge

Andrea said she found the evening particularly challenging with only a small head torch as a guide, and no landmarks or lights to help them with their navigation. Andrea also said that what spurred them on throughout the walk was keeping Dr Patel at the front of their minds.

Their joint fundraising total currently stands at an impressive £2,892.51 from offline and online fundraising, and they’re hoping to bring it to an even number. As well as encouraging donations from their physical challenges, the Kitchens also used “Smarties Fundraising”. This involves handing out full tubes of Smarties for people to eat, then asking them to fill the tubes up with 20p pieces and returning them as a form of a donation!

This proved to be a very successful form of fundraising, with each tube containing about £12 worth of 20p pieces! They received back over 20 tubes of Smarties, so if you’re fundraising in future it’s certainly worth keeping this in mind as a method of fundraising.

Andrea and Ian finishing the Thames Path Challenge Andrea and Ian's 'Smarties Fundraising'

Donations can still be made to either Andrea or Ian’s JustGiving pages.

If you have an idea for a fundraising event of your own, please contact the Community Fundraising Team at

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