Laura shouts out for support as 5,000-mile challenge gets underway


Laura Cartmill, from Brixham in Devon, has set herself the mammoth challenge of walking 5,000 miles in 500 days and is now calling out to supporters to help her raise much needed funds for a charity close to her heart.

The 30-year-old, who suffers from autism and a rare eye condition called aniridia, set herself the arduous task last summer, with the aim of raising as much money as possible for bereaved children’s military charity, Scotty’s Little Soldiers.

So far, Laura has completed 1,880 miles, walking 10 miles a day, and is hoping to complete the remaining 3,120 miles before the end of the year.

With a variety of government restrictions coming in to play over the last year, Laura has found the challenge incredibly difficult, but still describes it as one of the best things she’s ever done.

She said:

“I’m really happy with how my challenge is progressing, I’m walking 10 miles every day, and my quickest time to date is 3 hours and 2 minutes. Lockdown has certainly made it more difficult as it means I have to stay local, but it has been great fun.”

Now that her challenge is underway, Laura is hoping more people will get behind her and help to raise much needed funds for children and young people who at such a young age have already experienced so much.

Laura said:

“By supporting me, you’re helping hundreds of children all over the country who have lost a parent who served in the Armed Forces. The last year has been difficult for everyone, particularly the children Scotty’s supports, so I’m hoping my challenge will either inspire people to do something similar or donate.”

Scotty’s Little Soldiers, which was set up in 2010 by war widow Nikki Scott, 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 does lots of things to support its members, including providing access to the very best emotional health and wellbeing care, offering outstanding development opportunities through a range of activity and educational grants, and Scotty’s helps put smiles back on those brave faces by organising events, providing respite breaks, posting them birthday and Christmas presents and remembering the anniversary of their parent’s death.

Over the last year, the charity has had to adapt to the current climate and has been using modern technology to arrange exciting virtual events and activities to engage with its members, ensuring them that in uncertain times such as these they are not alone. They’ve also been providing a high volume of wellbeing support to families who are suffering from enhanced anxiety and other problems due to the current health crisis.

Like the children supported by the charity, Laura knows only too well how difficult it can be to overcome life’s challenges. She said:

“I like to be active and support other people. My condition means I have no iris in either eye which makes my eyes very sensitive. I also have autism but continue to encourage other people who have been through difficult challenges to do anything they want to do. It’s important to remember that anything is possible!”

Nikki said:

“Laura is such an inspiration, her attitude of anything is possible is so powerful, and as well as raising money, I have no doubt that she’ll inspire many more people to do the same thing. We’re delighted she has chosen Scotty’s as her charity and every penny she raises will go a long way in helping us to continue to deliver a high level of support to hundreds of bereaved Forces children, at a time when they need it the most. The current pandemic is difficult for everyone, and it’s tough for our members who already face challenges. Having experienced the death of a parent they are always on high alert, so continued funding means we can support them and reinforce that they are not going through this alone.”
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