Why did you decide to take on the Coast to Coast challenge?

I have been a Trustee of Aspire for seven years and Vice Chairman for two. We do such fantastic work in support of people with Spinal Cord Injury, that I have always wanted to take on a fundraising challenge, yet up until now, the idea of a Marathon or any of our brilliant swimming challenges have been beyond my capability.

So the Coast to Coast Challenge, even at 70 and with two new knees (one of which is only four months old) seemed to be a great opportunity to see out Covid-19, raise money and keep active.  

The added attraction of getting the family involved, albeit remotely, was a really brilliant incentive, so, spurred on by my super fit daughter Nicola Hinch who runs, cycles and walks the dogs, and even getting grandson AJ involved – he walks one and a half miles either with me or with his Mum - means that we can really clock up the miles.

Nicola taking on the Grimsby 10k

How is the challenge going?

As a family we are progressing really well, and very quickly decided that not only could we easily clock up the 192 miles needed, but that we should “do the return journey as well” so our target is 384 miles. In the first three weeks we totalled just over 200 miles with AJ doing six, I did just over 60 and Nicola 120 ( and the rest of the family adding in a few more). Because of isolation most of the mileage is done alone but as restrictions eased we managed some family walks. I am very lucky that living in Wetherby, Yorkshire, I am very close to lovely countryside and national walking/cycle tracks or ramblers paths.  I usually walk between three and five miles, not quite ‘daily’ but very nearly!  Nicola can access countryside from her home in Leeds or cycle/run through the northern suburbs of Leeds.  I am retired and Nicola is a self-employed hairdresser, so not working at all. I think it is keeping her sane and me tired!

What are the benefits of taking on this challenge?

It’s a really great way to get my new knee working well, get fresh air and exercise, especially with the golf courses having been closed! 

It’s a great way to keep fit, get out, exercise alongside (or virtually) with the family and you can raise money for a really worthy cause. 

Before lockdown my main exercise was golf but I did often walk too.  Having moved house we are now very lucky to have even more opportunities and getting the grandson out and about is also beneficial - nowadays it’s very easy for the kids to become ‘couch potatoes’.

David Holden outside

How is your fundraising going?

This is first time for many years that I have taken on a fundraising challenge, although I once walked on hot coals!  To get sponsorship, emailed and tweeted family and friends, who have been very generous, and I have already exceeded my first two notional targets - including Gift Aid I have already topped £2,000 - with one or two donations still promised once we achieve our 384 miles target.  

It’s a real privilege to be involved with such an innovative, creative and caring charity, providing a wide range of services, funding and support for the 50,000 people living with a spinal cord injury in the UK.


Sponsor David

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