Teddington charity CEO walks 100km to fundraise for disabled children’s service

The CEO of a Teddington charity has raised £6,000 to help fund its ‘Sitting and Befriending’ service that supports disabled and young people in Richmond.

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44-year-old Cathy Maker, from Waldegrave Road-based charity Ruils, walked 100km through the night along the River Thames path from Putney to Henley – in under 24 hours, on September 7.

The CEO said: “I started the challenge of walking 100k with a friend, who unfortunately was unable to complete the walk due to some serious blisters, so I walked the last 22k in the dark on my own, which was a bit creepy at times!

“I was determined to carry on as we desperately need to raise funds for this service.

“Many children across the borough who are disabled or have additional needs rely on our sitting and befriending service to enable them to get out and enjoy activities of their choice with a peer, which they may not have the ability or confidence to attend alone.”

The ‘Sitting and Befriending’ service has provided more 10,000 hours of befriending in less than 12 months.

It used to receive funding from Richmond Council until 2015, when funding was cut – which meant the charity had to raise £30,000 a year to keep the service going.

A second team of Ruils employees also walked a further 50km from Putney to Runnymede.

Ms Maker added: “We also enable parents to take a break from their caring responsibilities in the knowledge their child is being looked after by a fully trained and responsible adult.”

If anyone would like to donate towards the Sitting and Befriending service at Ruils, they can do so by visiting its fundraising page: Here

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