Zimmer frame user (70) in charity walk

Charity walker Jennie Charleston-Stokes with husband Brian.
Charity walker Jennie Charleston-Stokes with husband Brian.
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A GOSBERTON pensioner, who struggles to move a few yards unaided, plans to use her zimmer frame to complete a charity walk on her milestone 70th birthday.

Jennie Charleston-Stokes, who suffered a stroke three years ago, is planning to cover a mile through Spalding with the help of her rollator.

She said: “I used to be so busy, but since the stroke it’s gone to nothing. My 70th birthday is a milestone, so what better way to celebrate it!”

The walk is planned for Wednesday, May 16, the actual day of her birthday. Jennie – who handed her alternative therapy clinic in Salem Street to her son, John, after her stroke and still lives next door – has chosen three children’s charities to support.

Two of them are CLIC Sargent and Great Ormond Street, but the one closest to her heart is Sri Lanka Orphans and Widows.

Jennie said: “Before my stroke I volunteered in Sri Lanka every year for 20 years. The families are so poor and it’s so hard to bring up children there. Wages are about a £1 a day and it costs £1 to buy a child milk.

“Coming to terms with not being able to go back has been hard, but I still wanted to help.

“I’ll have reached my three score and 10 then, so I think it’s time to just go for it and not worry.”

The route is still being worked out, but it will start and finish at Wetherspoon’s Ivy Wall pub in the town centre and head towards the railway gates, then back up The Crescent. Jennie said: “I need to work out where it is flat because of the wheels but the basic route is there.”

There are no plans to do any training before the event and Jennie will just turn up with the support of her husband, Brian. She said: “I don’t want to get disheartened beforehand. I know it’s going to be hard, but if I get tired I can have a rest.

“It won’t be a four-minute mile – more like four hours – but the main thing is to just do it and think of the charities. I’m hoping to raise a lot of money for them. If everyone in Spalding gave a £1 that would be brilliant.”

Sponsor forms are being printed by Wetherspoon and will be available at the pub and at shops around town. In the meantime, if you wish to support Jennie’s sponsored walk, she suggests popping into the pub in New Road or calling 01775 719770.