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Mark Gilder, part of our Finance Team, is walking 1,000 steps every day in February. He’s walking for Dementia UK as part of their Walk 1k A Day challenge, raising funds to support families facing dementia.

Mark will need to keep up the consistency and walk every day during February. The challenge is designed to do at your own pace and in your own way, so Mark is planning on walking more than 1k steps a day.

The challenge aims to give fundraisers the motivation to get out and about in the colder weather, for a cause often close to their heart.

Here we catch up with Mark to see how he’s getting on.

Why did you decide to support Dementia UK?

As those close to my family are aware my Dad has the worst form of dementia (in my opinion). He has a rare known dementia called picks disease. It starts off with the vocabulary but gets progressively worse until there is no longer a coherent language there. Dad is currently at this stage; my poor Mum has to deal with the daily struggles of looking after Dad. I can only imagine how challenging it is.

I am doing this 1k a day (although I plan to try for 5k a day) to help raise funds for more support for families that are going through the heartache that dementia causes.

Do you exercise regularly normally?

My daily average step count is approximately 7k a day but this is just general walking to get from A to B. I do play football and badminton once a week but that is about all for exercise. The challenge is meaning I am doing on average an additional 2,900 extra steps each day.

What are you enjoying about the challenge?

Our offices are in a fairly built-up industrial area, I am enjoying discovering all the new green areas a short walk from the office. This also causes me to walk further to discover more. I am also looking forward to the walks at the end of the month while away with my family.

Are you finding anything difficult about the challenge?

Nothing especially, but to show my donors that I am keeping up I am vlogging as I walk. So, looking a bit odd to passersby is a bit of a challenge!

How much money will you raise if you stay on target?

I initially didn’t expect to get many donations so only set the target at £150 but due to the generosity of friends and family I had to increase the target to £500 but have now broken that target. I am so overwhelmed with the generosity in these difficult financial times.

I would be over the moon if I could double that target.

How many steps have you walked so far?

We are on Day 8 and so far I have managed 23,466 specifically for the cause.

What support has Total Office given you?

We have a walking treadmill in the office, so I plan to use that at least once for something a bit different from my current walks! Plus, my fantastic colleagues and Total Office have been generous in sponsoring me.

Sponsor Mark to keep walking

Help Mark to keep walking – you can donate to Mark’s Facebook fundraising page here.

Don’t have Facebook? Donate to Mark’s JustGiving page here.

If you can spare even £1 it would really be appreciated. Whether you donate £5 or £500, every little bit helps families facing dementia. Thank you!

Feeling inspired?

If you’re feeling inspired to take up a challenge, get involved at https://www.dementiauk.org/get-involved/

Or if you’d just like to clock up extra steps as part of your daily routine, here are some ways that you can up your daily step count.

  • Do a fitness class at home or at the gym
  • Take the dog for an extra walk
  • Get off the train or bus a stop early
  • Always take the stairs
  • Explore your local area
  • Meet a friend for a walk.

So, lace up your trainers or walking shoes and head out with friends and family, a good podcast or some catchy music!

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