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Maureen's coronavirus lockdown challenge for cancer charity raises over £7,500

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Maureen Lightbody

Maureen Lightbody

Maureen Lightbody

A 94-year-old Co Down woman has smashed her £1,000 fundraising target and raised over £7,500 for Macmillan Cancer Support as she continues her lockdown challenge.

Maureen Lightbody from Groomsport, Co Down is aiming to walk a thousand paces every day - or 95 'Roman miles' - until her 95th birthday in July.

"Every step I take is not just making me feel better, but it will help others across Northern Ireland too," said Maureen. Initially spurred into action by inspirational Captain Tom Moore - who has raised over £32m for the NHS doing laps of his garden - Maureen wanted to walk her way to £1,000 for Macmillan.

But within 24 hours of her JustGiving page going live, she had already topped her target.

"When I started my challenge, it was about doing something worthwhile during the Covid-19 crisis. Having lost my husband to cancer, I wanted to raise £1,000 for Macmillan. Charities need our help more than ever right now."

As a visual signaller with the Wrens aged just 18 during World War Two, Maureen remembers only too well the importance of community spirit at difficult times.

"People have been so generous - donations have been coming from so many wonderful and unexpected places. Every pound puts another spring in my step and gives me the confidence to go outside and get moving, whatever the weather!"

The bright, dry days have given Maureen a welcome boost too.

She said she is feeling the benefits of the challenge on her health, and an added bonus has been the opportunity to feel closer to nature.

"I'm doing my challenge close to home of course, and it's fascinating, the little details that I'm noticing when I'm out and about completing my walk every single day. It all helps to motivate me and keeping me focused on my goal - to raise as much money as I can for an important cause," she said.

Jan Forrest, Macmillan Head of Regional Fundraising for Northern Ireland and Scotland, said: "We are enormously grateful to Maureen who is helping us to make sure that no one faces cancer alone. Please support her in any way you can."

Donate online www.justgiving.com/fundraising/maureenlightbody

Belfast Telegraph