A woman with Down’s Syndrome and autism has raised money for healthcare workers by walking 21,000 steps a day for three weeks.
41-year-old Helen Williams walks around the garden of their home in Bowdon to raise money for NHS Charities Together.
Helen lives with her sister Felicity and husband Simon and the couple’s four daughters.
“Helen came to live with us in 2017. She had previously spent 19 years in care homes – 17 in one in Somerset,” Felicity shared.
“It became clear that the care home she was in was no longer suitable. She was unhappy there. I was pregnant with my fourth child, and, against the advice of some, we decided Helen should move in with us. She is so much better now.”
Helen usually goes to the Pavilion Project day center two days a week and two other centers on other days. However, she had to stay indoors after coronavirus lockdown was announced.
She had struggled with the drastic change to her routine and her mental health worsened after learning that her friend David was put on a ventilator after contracting coronavirus.
With support from her younger sister, Felicity, Helen decided to focus on a daily challenge.
“Helen likes routine and without it she was struggling. She misses it. I said quite flippantly to her ‘what are we going to do now’. I suggested she check her Fitbit and walk around the garden,” Felicity shared.
It was on April 17 when she started her walking challenge 21,000 steps a day around their garden and home.
“Helen is obsessed with numbers and this challenge helps to give her a focus,” Felicity added.
“We also hope that Helen’s fundraising helps to raise awareness of the problems faced by people with special needs during the current crisis.She received a personal video from Scott McTominay. She is a big Manchester United fan and that made her day,” Felicity shared.
On Helen’s GivingPage, she says: “My name is Helen Williams. I’m 41 years old. I have Down’s Syndrome and Autism. I live in Bowdon with my sister Felicity, my brother-in-law Simon, my nieces Grace, Bethan, Eve and Poppy, Cassie the puppy, our three cats and our chickens. I’m a fan of Take That, The Beatles and George Michael, and Manchester United!”
She added: “I’m going to walk 21,000 steps per day for the next 21 days of the lockdown and fundraise for NHS Charities Together. You can sponsor me for as little as £1 and leave me a message. I love reading your messages each day.
“Stay safe and stay well.”
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