50 for 50 for 50: a very special fundraising walk 

To celebrate her 50th birthday, and to mark the Down’s Syndrome Association’s (DSA) own 50th anniversary, earlier this year Antonia decided that a 50 mile fundraising walk would be the perfect summer challenge….hence the 50 for 50 for 50 walk! 

The charity is very close to the Headteacher’s heart as her niece, Hannah, happens to have Down’s syndrome. Antonia said: ‘Throughout Hannah’s life the charity has been a source of research, support and information. For many others with Down’s Syndrome, they are a lifeline. Their work in campaigning for the rights of those with Down’s Syndrome, research, help into employment, providers of a voice, support, technology and resources and, often just someone who understands the other end of a phone is extraordinary.’ 

50 is a very significant number for this fundraiser, but there is another reason for its significance. There is exactly 50 miles between Antonia’s house and Hannah’s house. So, Antonia planned to walk straight from her front door and to finish at Hannah’s.   

‘I walk for the DSA but also in joyful thankfulness of what Hannah brings to my life and the amazing nuclear family she is part of. I am simply in awe of the fantastic support and care my sister, brother-in-law and older niece give. But – Hannah gives back too. She enriches our lives; is a source of huge love and joy and no dull moments! Hannah has a wicked sense of humour, caring nature and, with the support of her family and the DSA, has and gives a great quality of life.’ 

On 21 July, in glorious weather, Antonia and her companions, Niki and Jeremy, left Antonia’s front door to complete the first half of their 50mile walk. The team walked 66,477 steps (28.6 miles) from Chalfont St Giles in Buckinghamshire to Nettlebed in Oxfordshire. The walk took 10 hours 48 minutes and the whole team enjoyed very well-deserved pint and dinner at the end of day one. 

The next day they set off again, heading from Nettlebed to Sutton Courtenay, covering 21.5 miles, in around 9.5 hours. They walked 52,381 steps and enjoyed another beautiful day’s weather and the scenery along the way. 

Friends and family had joined them for parts of the walk and for the last mile they had a very special guest…Hannah joined the trio on the last leg and helped cut through the (very beautiful) banner right at the end with cheers from her neighbours.  

Antonia said: ‘The truly wonderful Niki and totally stupendous Jeremy and I were met a mile out by Hannah, and we processed up Hannah’s road with all the neighbours out in their driveways cheering. It was a triumphant end to a fantastic, exhausting and challenging two days. We walked through stunning countryside, drooled over some amazing houses and gardens and just kept putting one foot in front of another. Thank you to Niki and Jeremy – they know that I couldn’t have done it without them and thank you to all our support team and of course, to everyone who donated.’ 

We want to thank Antonia, Niki and Jeremy for their truly amazing efforts. Antonia has raised over £6,300! We are so grateful for your support and for the generosity of your sponsors. The funds raised will help us to continue the work we do to support people who have Down’s syndrome and is particularly appreciated during these challenging times. Thank you.  

If you would like to donate to Antonia’s fundraiser, click here.