Meningitis Now staff - Mark Hunt

1.4 million miles and counting as Five Valleys Walk goes virtual

Mark Hunt | 19th September 2020

Over 33 years the people of the Stroud Valleys in Gloucestershire have walked an estimated 1.4 million miles to raise money for Meningitis Now – a charity set up to help protect the nation from meningitis and to offer support to the thousands of people who have sadly contracted the disease

Meningitis Now fundraising event - Fabulous Virtual Walk launch

Of all the events the charity undertakes to raise much-needed funds, the annual Five Valleys Walk, a 21 mile romp across an area of outstanding natural beauty, typically attracts over 2000 walkers and is considered to be a highlight in the local calendar - until this year, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the charity to cancel the event for the first time in its 33 year history.

Having fought meningitis for nearly 35 years, the charity is determined not to be beaten by COVID-19 and has announced the launch of a new, nation-wide event called the Fabulous Virtual Walk – using the FVW abbreviation.

Dr Tom Nutt, CEO at Meningitis now, says, “When you take on the Five Valleys Walk you very quickly realise that it’s not just another stroll in the countryside, but a fun and enjoyable way to simply be with family and friends whilst raising money for the vital work that Meningitis Now does. The walk has always been a celebration of our roots in Stroud, whilst also helping us raise vital funds to fight for a future without the threat of meningitis and where we work hard to improve the lives of those who have experienced the disease. 

“The new Fabulous Virtual Walk, or FVW, is about the spirit of the walk, not the location, and our hope is that people across the UK will join us and do their own 21-mile FWV walk with friends, family and loved ones in a location or place that is special to them. This could be around a park, town or city or, like our traditional walk, in the beautiful countryside and at a time of your choosing.”

Please sign up

To take part in the Fabulous Virtual Walk is easy - just visit our FVW page to sign up. Registration costs £21 and each walker will receive an entry pack, which includes some suggested walks across the UK, a fun kids’ activity sheet, and an exclusive Meningitis Now walkers’ buff. 

“The current COVID climate has had a massive impact on our income over the past six months and we now need the support of the nation to help us protect current and future generations against a disease that does not discriminate and that can kill within 24 hours.

“We estimate that 21 people contract meningitis every single day. But by walking 21 miles we can continue to save lives and rebuild futures. Please sign up for the Fabulous Virtual Walk. We’ve walked together for the past 33 years, let’s not stop now,” concludes Tom.

As a health charity, Meningitis Now is keen to keep you and our communities safe and is urging participants to ensure that they stay up-to-date with the latest government guidelines regarding social distancing and COVID-19 and only take part if it is safe and legal to do so.

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