Walk this way

4th April 2019

Pull on your hiking boots... or your wellies… or even your flip flops; on National Walking Day we invite everyone to join our brand new challenge, Marathon Month

Julia Styles backs Marathon Month blog

And before you stop reading after seeing the word "marathon", don’t worry: the point of this event is that you can walk - and you have a whole 30 days to finish the challenge.

All we ask is that you complete a full 26.2 miles in a month, whether that be through 26 mini-walks or a couple of epic weekend treks; we leave that to you. And although we don’t have a minimum sponsorship we suggest trying to raise at least £50, although you never know - once you get into your stride you may find it easy to raise a lot more!

If you are looking for ways to make this challenge more fun than chore, here are a few ideas: 

  • Get a group of mates to amble to the pub on Sundays;
  • Take your dog for a quick trot around the block after work every day;
  • Organise a group in your workplace to walk every lunchtime;
  • Take the kids on a “treasure hunt” round your local town or neighbourhood;
  • Get off the bus a couple of stops early and complete the journey to work on foot.

These are just a few ideas to get you started, we would love to hear from you if you have any more!

Tragic death

One Meningitis Now supporter who plans to get involved is Julia Styles, who lost her daughter Emily to meningitis aged just 19 in 2014.

Julia has been involved with the charity for years following her daughter’s tragic death. “Kind, thoughtful” Emily died on New Year’s Day just before she was about to take up a place at university to study to become a special needs primary school teacher. 

Since then, mum Julia has raised or donated thousands of pounds to Meningitis Now, as well as been involved in other fundraising efforts. 

She said she loved the simplicity of the Marathon Month challenge.

“It’s such a great idea to get involved in something like this that anyone can do, at any time of the year."

“What I love most about this is the idea of bringing a group together to do something for a great charity."

“We all know that physical exercise is good for you – including walking. But I also think we can underestimate the positive mental health benefits."

“As someone who has been bereaved and had to cope with a lot of grief, I find getting out into the fresh air can be really healing.”


Meningitis Now Community Fundraiser Jo Wilson agreed that one of the great things about this event was that it was so simple for anyone to take part. 

“We really wanted to offer an event that was easy and could be done anywhere by anyone at any time – and wasn’t going to be so challenging that it might put some people off."

“What I love about this is that you can just grab some friends, pull on some shoes – and go!"

 “And what better reward do you need at the end of your walks than knowing all the money you’ve raised will be going to supporting people who live with the impact of meningitis?”

Find out more about Marathon Month.

Read Emily Styles' story.

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