Jenny Allanson's sponsored walk in memory of Richard Mark Allanson
For some time, I have wanted to do something to raise money for SUDEP Action in the memory of my lovely late brother, Richard Mark Allanson. Richard died on 26 November, 2006, leaving his family and his wife Taiwo devastated. They had only been married for 4 and a half years.
Last year we did a sponsored walk at work for another charity. This year, when it was suggested we do another walk and we were asked to suggest a charity to support, I knew it had to be SUDEP Action.
We did the sponsored walk in aid of SUDEP Action along the Pennine Way on 16 January 2015. The weather started off really bad. Just after we set off, it started to drizzle, the drizzle soon turned into rain, then sleet and finally snow. It was like this on and off for most of the walk. We walked for about 5 hours and it turned out we had covered about 15 miles which was a great achievement. As much as I love walking, I don't tend to do it very often or walk as far, so I feel really great about this.
If it was up to me we would do a sponsored walk at work every year. The one thing I wish I had during my walk is a waterproof rucksack or a rucksack cover as the spare change of clothes I put in my bag got wet so I had to go home in my waterproofs which I'd had on all day.
It helped that we had planned everything well ahead. We had marked out a route and made sure that everyone who was walking with us knew where they are going and how far it would be. To someone thinking of doing a sponsored walk I would say don't carry too much weight in your rucksack; try to keep it as light as possible. Choose clothing to suit the weather conditions and remember you can always take layers off if you get too hot, but if you don't have those layers to start off with you could get very cold, really fast.
Make sure you wear sensible footwear; I found that wearing two pairs of socks helped reduce my risk of getting blisters. Try not to take a lot of food and drink with you, if you can try and plan a route that goes past or near somewhere where you can get something to eat, that way you can always stop off for lunch. All you really need to take with you is a bottle of water and maybe a few energy bars and some fruit.
So far we have managed to raise around £173 for SUDEP Action. I am really grateful to my friends and family who supported me. I would also like to thank the team of walkers who joined me on the walk, Dianne McLaren, Helen McGuire, Joanne White, Joe Chapman, Philomena Botwood, Donna Fletcher and Carole McDonald.
I love my brother so much and even though he has been gone for over 8 years now I think about him all the time as we were so close. He was 7 years older than me and always looked out for me, he was very protective. I really do miss him.