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‘Super’ dad and son are walking 1,000 miles to thank Essex NHS staff

Billy and George

A father and son duo from Rochford are pacing their local roads, back garden and living room in superhero costumes, as they pledge to complete 1,000 miles and raise funds for the NHS.

Billy Mansell, 26, and his three-year-old son, Noah, started this journey last year at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic to show his appreciation to local NHS staff. They are fundraising through the #NHS1000Miles challenge for Mid and South Essex Hospitals Charity. 

“The walking has been great for my superhero sidekick son Noah,” said Billy. “He really does enjoy our walks and its great seeing the positive effect it’s had on him.

“Every time Noah and I leave the house in our superhero costumes, we see the difference it makes to people. They smile and wish us well on our journey which motivates me to continue. It’s great that doing something so small can bring joy to others, especially when we’re all at home during the lockdown.”

The idea behind the #NHS1000miles challenge is to take personal responsibility for our own physical and mental health, consequently reducing reliance on the NHS, and easing pressures.

Billy - who is already over 150 miles into his challenge - explained how he was inspired by the late Captain Sir Tom Moore, who walked 100 laps around his garden before turning 100 last year. 

“Captain Sir Tom Moore definitely paved the way for me and many others to start finding a different way to be active, and also thank the NHS for its efforts. His legacy will have a lasting positive impact on us as individuals as well; every step is in his honour.”

Clair Grayson, community fundraising manager for Mid and South Essex Hospitals Charity, said: “It’s wonderful to hear that Billy and his son are fundraising for our charity and recognising our extraordinary staff during this time - keep up the great work. The support of them and countless others like them has been astounding.”

Billy’s fundraising efforts can be supported by donations to his Just Giving page:
 
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/msenhsthankyoumiles