Grandmother (81) undertakes her own coronavirus fundraising challenge

CAPTAIN Tom Moore may have grabbed all the headlines up to now, but he is not the only one who decided that walking around their garden during lockdown would be a good way to raise money for charity...

Lorna Hopley
Lorna Hopley

Islander Lorna Hopley (81), who is recovering from breaking her hip, arm and shoulder, also came up with the same idea at around the same time as the now 100-year-old Captain Moore, who was made an honorary Colonel for his remarkable fundraising efforts.

But while he raised more than £33 million by the time he finished recently, Mrs Hopley, from St Brelade, is just starting her fundraising having hit a number of metaphorical stumbling blocks at the start of her challenge.

That said, she has already surpassed her initial £500, raising more than £850 so far.

‘I don’t know who thought about it first but I know I didn’t know about what he [Col Moore] was doing when I first came up with the idea,’ said Mrs Hopley. She added that it had taken time for her to start fundraising because her family wanted to make sure she was safe to walk so much and because the Hospital does not currently have a charity linked to it that she could donate to.

Mrs Hopley has been walking around her garden twice every day since the Easter weekend – around 1,000 paces – and plans to keep going until at least 1 October.

And she celebrates the end of each walk with a well-earned reward – a gin and tonic.

Any money raised by the challenge will be spent on gifts for the staff at the Hospital.

‘I was in hospital for three weeks and Overdale for eight and only came out in January,’ said Mrs Hopley.

‘It is hard work walking around the garden. I had been having hydrotherapy but I had to stop didn’t I? They closed it all, so I have got to do something to keep myself going until I can get back down there.

‘And my time in hospital is why I want whatever I raise to be used to treat all different departments in the Hospital. And if I get a lot I would like to put a big bash on for them all.’

She added that she had been inspired to start the challenge by her neighbour, Teresa Goncalves, who has previously run marathons.

‘She is a brilliant inspiration,’ said Mrs Hopley. ‘I can’t run a marathon but I can do a thousand paces, and my pace is not a normal person’s pace.’

She added: ‘I am feeling absolutely over the moon with how it is going.’

To sponsor Mrs Hopley visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/lorna-hopley-1.

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