Mansfield man’s river walk for NHS in memory of pandemic deaths
A Mansfield man is walking a 50 mile river route with every one of an estimated 143,665 steps taken in memory of those who died in the pandemic.
Garry Watkinson has organised a Maun River walk fundraiser for the NHS, raising cash for the Sherwood Forest Hospitals general charitable fund, which coincides with the second year milestone of the virus in the UK.
The 52-year-old married dad-of-two will start his 20 hour walk from the source of the Maun River, between Sutton and Kirkby, starting on Friday, March 4, and ending on Saturday, March 5.
The route will take him to the river’s end, near Markham Moor (by the A1), where it joins the River Meden, just before the start of the River Idle, and he will then walk back along the River Maun, finally finishing at King’s Mill Hospital, in Sutton.
Garry, who works at Eviosys, at Sutton (previously Crown Aerosols, originally Metal Box) says he and his colleagues are classified as ‘key workers’.
He said: "I’ve never had the virus nor had time off work for furlough, isolation, or illness during the past two years of the pandemic. But I'm doing this walk to raise money for the NHS on the frontline of this crisis,
"From doctors and nurses, to administrators and cleaning staff, these essential workers are helping people with or without the virus and are working long and very busy hours through this testing time.
“The NHS has been under extraordinary and excessive stresses and pressures.
"This event is to acknowledge the hard work that NHS staff have done since the pandemic started in March 2020, and to remember all those who lost their lives to the virus.
“Each step I take will be in remembrance of each person that died of Covid over the past two years.
"I hope people will help me raise money in recognition of the hard work of all in the NHS, and to remember all those that have passed away during the Covid pandemic.”
He added: "I am aware that the number that have passed away is more than the steps I will do, but as I do my training for this walk I think of them.”
To donate see Garry’s Just Giving page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/myshortwalks He has already been pledged £50 towards his £1,000 target.