Gran's giant steps to fund-raise for vaccine research
A grandmother who has been isolating at home for eight weeks has pledged to walk 100 steps along her drive in 26 days to raise funds for Covid-19 vaccine research.
Until a year ago, 84-year-old Maureen Williams could walk unaided but now has to use a walker to get around her Sandbach home due to arthritis.
As the weeks have gone by in isolation, she said she felt like she needed to get up and do some exercise.
Inspired to the fundraising call to arms after what should have been the London Marathon on Sunday, Mrs Williams, like many others across the country, decided to do something for a good cause based around the figure 26, the distance thereabouts of the world-famous race.
By Tuesday, £221 of her £260 target had been reached on her Just Giving page.
She said: The hardest thing I can do is walk, but I need to exercise. My garden is lovely - I've got a lovely floral wall and on Sunday I walked down the drive to see it and that's what started me off.”
Mrs Williams' late husband was Godfrey, who founded Godfrey Williams and Son delicatessen on The Square in Sandbach 63 years ago and which is now run by their grandson, Daniel.
She said: “Daniel and his partner Eva said 'go for it' and my grandson Leo, president of Grey's College at the University of Durham, has arranged it all on a Just Giving page.”
Mrs Williams has been president of the Inner Wheel Club of Sandbach four times and so has decided to raise money for International Inner Wheel's official Covid-19 Disaster and Vaccination Fund. The fund is to help with the immediate effects of the pandemic and to help with a long-term solution.
Mrs Williams, who has been a member of International Inner Wheel for “a wonderful” 52 years, said: “I decided to walk 100 steps each day for 26 days. I walked to the bottom of the drive to see the garden but then realised I had to walk back so I virtually did 200 steps!
“But I need some exercise, so it works both ways and I feel like I'm doing something. I do no want to be like a cabbage!”
Mrs Williams, a mother of two and grandmother of five, said: “I've got a lovely home and garden. I wouldn't mind if I could do the jobs I did a year ago, I can't do the jobs I want to do like take the curtains down to wash them.”
Praising the job the delicatessen is doing during the lockdown of delivering food to people she said: “They are wearing themselves out and they are doing it all for free. They are also delivering people's post when they go out. They're doing lots and lots of things.”
Explaining how she kept in touch with her family during the lockdown, she said: “I sit in the kitchen and they stand outside. I'm seeing them most days. I'm busy at the moment, making Eva a birthday cake.”
Despite being housebound for eight weeks, she added: “I'm very lucky. I've got a wonderful neighbour who comes to talk to me through the French window and takes my bins out.”
Her message to other octogenarians was: “Just keep going. Stay in and stay safe. I lived through the war and it isn't as bad as that. I remember queuing at the shops then for rations.”