Steven’s Story: fundraising for our COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund
Monday 23rd of March 2020 is not a day Steven Wilson is likely to forget. It was on this day that he had to say goodbye to his husband Graeme who left for work as Lead Nurse for Emergency and Acute Medicine at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust during the COVID-19 crisis. Not knowing when would see Graeme again, Steven thought that Graeme would be gone a fortnight, maybe three weeks at most. The night before, Graeme had asked Steven to head to Aberdeen to stay with his parents: this, he felt, was the safest place for him at that time.
Steven landed at Aberdeen Airport unaware that within a few hours, the country would be in complete lockdown. He wouldn’t return to the airport until 85 days later. After a short period staying with friends to ensure he showed no symptoms, Steven moved to his parents house and thought long and hard about how he could help Graeme. FaceTime calls simply felt insufficient, Steven felt that he had a lot more time than ten minutes every few days with which he could make a difference.
Stephen had been walking a little since lockdown had started and stumbled across an advert on Facebook for a virtual challenge: walking the equivalent of Lands End to John O’Groats: 1083 miles. He immediately decided to do it. Before he knew it, he was walking so much that on one day, he hit 55,000 steps, the equivalent of almost a marathon!
Since then, Steven has walked miles and miles (865 to be exact) since lockdown started, largely through the countryside or coastline near his parents’ house just outside Aberdeen. He walked through unusually warm days for Aberdeen and many of the somewhat more traditional wet days. Steven has found the whole experience so far so rewarding: positively impacting his own mental and physical health, whilst also helping “the charity that’s doing so much to support my husband and all of his amazing colleagues.”
Steven is now back in London and looking forward to completing the challenge. He is now ‘virtually’ in the Scottish Highlands with 80% of the challenge completed and one final hard push taking him John O’Groats.
His enormous efforts to do what he could to support his husband and the Trust have seen Steven raise over 75% of his £1,000 target and we are so grateful for his hard work over the last few months. If you would like to support Steven reach his target, you can visit his JustGiving page here.