A million-step challenge that spanned two countries ended on Sunday with a party on the beach at St Leonard’s.
David Jeapes, 62, took on the month-long 481 mile sponsored walk to raise funds for his four-year-old granddaughter Violet from Hastings, who suffers from Cerebral Palsy, epilepsy and dystonia.
Well-wishers turned out along the route from Portsmouth with crowds accompanying him in Pevensey, but the biggest turnout was in Hastings and St Leonards where a party was staged at the Azur Marina Pavilion.
David, who was born and brought up in Hastings, now lives in Saint Pardoux, south West France. He and his support team have now formed their campaign into a formal charity called Association Violet, which has raised £20K.
Funds raised up to 31 October will be divided with 80 per cent going to meet Violet’s needs and paying for equipment, sensory games and toys, therapies, hospital visits including overnight stays and major adaptions to the family home. A further 10 per cent will each go towards the Hastings cause Charity For Kids which supports disabled, sick and terminally ill children, and the French disability charity Apeeimc.
David said: “It was never about me, it was always about raising money for Violet. We’ve definitely raised more than £20k. The ultimate goal was to try and raise £40k, but was really a pipe dream. The golden goal was if we could build a therapy room and a separate bedroom for Violet. And it seems like it is almost within our grasp.
“None of this would have been possible without my wife who has been an absolute demon force behind it all. Streetspace and metroSTOR have been fantastic helping to cover the costs so every bit of money raised can go to Violet and the charities we are supporting. That was a huge weight off our shoulders.”
David is a business consultant for covered canopy constructor Streetspace and its sister brand metroSTOR and was praised by the company for taking on this gruelling challenge.
Simon Dolby, Streetspace Communications Manager, said: “What David has done is amazing. We are so proud of him and delighted to support him every step of the way.”
To make a donation towards the million step challenge, and to view a map of the route David followed, visit www.walkingforviolet.com. To view a video report on the challenge visit www.streetspacegroup.co.uk
- The route David Jeapes took started from Saint Pardoux on Sept 6, walking through Blanchard, La Folie, Saint-Laurent, Saint-Martin-de-Sallen, and arrived at Ouistreham ferry port on 1 October. After sailing to Portsmouth David walked to Chichester, Worthing, Newhaven and arriving in Hastings on Sunday.
- Although David Jeapes now lives in France he is the fifth generation of his family linked to Hastings.
- Association Violet will continue staging fundraising events and appealing for donations in the coming years. Once the initial phase ends at the end of October Association Violet will consider grant requests from Violet’s family, Hastings cause Charity For Kids and French disability charity Apeeimc.