‘An honour’: Flintshire couple’s verdict on walking the West Highland Way for SSAFA

Cheryl and Arwel Edwards have completed their six-day, 103-mile trek along the West Highland Way, raising more than £2,400 for SSAFA, beating their target of £1,000.

Cheryl and Arwel – respectively the mother and stepfather of former Welsh Guard Joe Penlington – took on the walk for SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity – in recognition of the support given to Joe after he was severely wounded in an IED blast in Afghanistan in July 2009.

He was 18.

Explaining why they chose SSAFA, Cheryl says:

When Joe was injured, he was brought back to the UK to Selly Oak, Birmingham, where he was in hospital for four months. For three of those months, I stayed at Norton House.

SSAFA’s Norton House, Stanford Hall provides free, safe, and supportive accommodation to families whose loved ones are receiving treatment for injuries at the nearby Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre.

Cheryl says:

Walking the West Highland Way was at times most physically and mentally challenging experience for us, but knowing we had so much support behind us through donations from friends and family, and even people we don’t know, drove us to get out of bed each day and pull on our boots for another full day’s walking.

It was an honour,” adds Cheryl, “to do a fundraiser for a cause we as a family are so invested in, and sharing our story and our ‘why’ with people we met on the way helped to further highlight the great work SSAFA and the Norton House project do for our serving and veteran personnel.

And we’d do it again, or maybe there’s another challenge waiting for us…

There are many fundraising events for SSAFA across the UK, from relaxing entertainment such as the Battle Proms series to the more active 13 Bridges Challenge at the end of June and the Ride Across Britain (Land’s End to John O’Groats) in September.

To learn how to take part and help more people like Joe and his family, search for “SSAFA Events”.

Cheryl and Arwel’s fundraising page will close at the end of June. To support them and SSAFA, search for “JustGiving Cheryl Edwards SSAFA”.

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By @Cobseo 54 years ago

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