An eight-year-old Ryde girl has walked a marathon in just five days to raise money for the Cats Protection Adoption Centre.
Charlotte White, who attends the Greenhaven specialist provision at Greenmount Primary School, Ryde, and suffers from extreme levels of anxiety. Charlotte is autistic and avoids all noise and people, and lately has found it increasingly hard to leave the house, sleep or eat.
Mum Michaela explained: “About a week ago we were out walking and had completed about three miles.
“Charlotte asked me how far we had gone and I explained that people walk much further and I told her all about the marathon. I suggested maybe when she was older, she could have a go and raise money for a charity. Within a minute she asked if she could do one now and raise money for the Cats Protection Adoption Centre in Ryde!
“We thought it would be something positive for her to focus on and take her mind off of her increasing list of worries. We decided we would start the following day and that she had to complete the 26.2 miles within a week to fulfil the challenge. Our 15-year-old dog, Blake, was with her every step of the way.
“Almost immediately, we could see the difference in her. When she was out walking, she was able to open up and ask questions about her fears and also put some of her feelings into words.
“Charlotte did find some of the walking very tricky and along with regular chanting of: ‘I’m doing this for the Cats!’, there was also the occasional: ‘I can’t do this anymore!’
“When she completed the 26.2 miles in just five days, she was so proud of herself, and she had this huge genuine smile that we hadn’t seen for a long time. The sense of achievement for her is huge and she is loving watching how much she is raising for the Cats Protection, albeit slightly shocked at how high the total has reached!
“We set a target of £100 and we’re already up to around £850. We’re amazed at the generosity; so many strangers have been so kind to her.”
If you would like to donate, Charlotte’s fundraising page is justgiving.com/fundraising/cw-marathon