Sarah is a Supporter Care Assistant at Crohn's & Colitis UK, which means she should currently be busy supporting our walkers and attending events all over the country. Instead, her dad is helping her to celebrate our flagship event in their own special way, with My WALK IT.
As a member of staff, this time of year I would be focussed on all things WALK IT in body and in mind, 24/7. I would be sleeping, eating and drinking all things WALK IT, from answering questions and queries from supporters to being the smiling face overseeing the registration tent at events throughout the season. For me, WALK IT is a time of smiles, memory-making and meeting our incredible supporters but due to coronavirus we have been met by a very different WALK IT this year, My WALK IT, and it is still so clear that even in these strange and unusual times the Crohn's and Colitis community will strive to promote awareness and raise funds to make sure that Crohn’s & Colitis UK can continue to do the fantastic work that we do.
Before joining as staff, I took part in WALK IT London in 2018 as a supporter and being in the charity village and being part of the sea of walkers in purple, gave me a great sense of pride and honour to be a part of this incredible community that, for the first year after my diagnosis, I did not know existed. This pride and honour grew even more so in 2019 when I got to don the staff member lanyard and events team t-shirt and hoodie. I grew as a person in confidence and gained new skills which I was excited to repeat again this year.
Knowing that WALK IT is a prominent set of dates in the calendars of our supporters and the staff at Crohn’s & Colitis UK, there was a resounding sadness after the announcement of the postponing and then cancellation of the events. I think it was this sadness and my worry for the charity that my dad saw in me when he proposed that we took part in My WALK IT to do our bit to help.
Despite the sadness, there was also a buzz of excitement from supporters asking ‘What can we do to help?’
Let my tell you a bit about my Dad. He, like myself, has Colitis and is one of the most determined men I know. When he sets his mind on something he does everything he can to make sure it can be achieved and he doesn’t do things by halves; he is what I call a ‘Keen Bean’ but this Keen Bean makes for an incredibly supportive Dad. He has done so much to promote our JustGiving page so that we can meet our self-set target of £1000. He’s using social media, asking our family members and friends and approaching his work colleagues. We’ve done well so far but this is down to him thinking "who can I promote our page and story to?".
Another little bit about Dad, he LOVES to be prepared, and I mean this in the most loving and best way possible. He has mapped out our 10K walk and tested it out with my mum to make sure we are actually going to be completing 10km. He is like a child at Christmas, he cannot wait for our walk day and neither can I!
On 5th July I will be wearing purple, talking about my story and raising awareness as I walk MY WALK IT with pride and honour.