Armed Forces Veteran completes gruelling 100km walk to help raise money for bereaved Forces children
Ex-Royal Signals officer, Charmian Hickman, has gone the extra mile this month for a charity that’s close to her heart.
The 53-year-old from Crondall in Hampshire recently completed the gruelling 100km Thames Path Challenge, all to help raise money for Scotty’s Little Soldiers, a charity that supports children and young people who have experienced the death of a parent who served in the Armed Forces.
Charmian, who is also the Chief Executive of the Armed Forces Education Trust, an organisation which supports children of Armed Forces personnel through education, works closely with military families and children on a daily basis, and therefore recognises just how important a charity like Scotty’s is within the Forces community.
She said: “In my work with the Armed Forces Education Trust I often refer families to Scotty’s. Supporting the children of our military personnel is a subject I feel very passionate about. At the Trust, we’re often unable to provide the support bereaved Forces children and young people need, but I know Scotty’s can, so I work very closely with them, and know just what an important role they play within the children’s lives.”
Charmian, who served in the Army for five years, is already pretty active, so wanted to do something that she knew would push her to her limits in order to raise money.
She said: “For some time I have been wanting to challenge myself with an endurance run. Sadly, due to my knee injuries sustained when I was serving in the Army, I am unable to run without making them worse. So, I decided to speed walk the distance instead and it was one of the hardest challenges I’ve ever done. It takes a lot of both physical and mental strength to keep going for 100km, especially when you’re doing it on your own. I talked to people along the route and listened to motivating music, but at times it really was hard to keep going.”
Although many participants who took part in the challenge, which took place on 11th September, only completed a 50km walk, Charmian was determined to go the full distance and completed the 100km continuously, in just over 20 hours, raising over £1,400 in the process.
Every penny raised will be donated Scotty’s Little Soldiers, helping to provide integral support to bereaved Forces children and young people at times when they need it the most.
Scotty’s Little Soldiers was set up in 2010 by war widow Nikki Scott. The charity offers integral support to children and young people who have experienced the death of a parent who served in the Armed Forces.
Nikki saw the devastating impact the death of her husband, Corporal Lee Scott, in 2009 had on their two young children and wanted to help others in the same situation.
The charity is currently providing assistance to hundreds of bereaved Forces children and young people around the UK and services offered include guidance to parents and carers, access to professional child bereavement support, personal education and learning assistance (including grants) and fun activities such as holiday respite breaks and group events. These are all designed to remind the children and young people supported by Scotty’s that they are not alone.
Nikki said: “What an incredible effort by Charmian, walking 100km in one day is no mean feat, and I’m honoured that she’s chosen to raise money for Scotty’s in the process. Having served in the military herself, Charmian understands just how important our work is to Armed Forces families and how integral fundraising is in helping us continue to deliver a high a level of support to our members.”