A North Lakes couple have set themselves a goal of raising £1 million for the MS Society – and they are already half way there.
Yvonne and Duncan Booth, of Keswick, will make another big hole in their target by organising the 10th 10 in 10 challenge.
Each June, hundreds of people from around the world come together to scale 10 peaks in 10 hours, in the Lake District fells.
The event was cancelled last year but Duncan, who was diagnosed with MS in 2010, was determined to find a safe way to raise money.
He started a bike recycling initiative and over the past year has restored more than 150 bikes, giving them to new owners in exchange for a donation to the MS Society.
MS damages nerves in the body and makes it harder to do everyday things, like walk, talk, eat and think.
It is unpredictable and different for everyone, and there still are not treatments for everybody with progressive forms of the condition.
The £500,000 raised by Yvonne and Duncan is funding ground-breaking research, which will help find new treatments for everyone living with MS.
In 2021, all funds raised from 10in10 will go to the MS Society Cambridge Centre for Myelin Repair.
The centre aims to rapidly translate laboratory discoveries into new treatments that repair damage to myelin – the protective coating that surrounds nerves, which is damaged in MS.
Yvonne, a Pride of Britain finalist, said: “When Duncan was diagnosed with MS our lives changed forever. I was determined to do something positive to drive forward research, and so the idea of an annual fundraising challenge was born.
“At the start of lockdown we didn’t know if charities would survive. It’s been a hard time but we’ve dedicated our lives to stopping MS, and coronavirus won’t get in our way.
“Communities have really come together, and it’s amazing how much momentum we’ve managed to keep over the past year. Duncan’s bike recycling initiative started small but has now become a whole community initiative. He is incredible and he just keeps going!”
Clare Horwood, executive director of engagement and income generation at the MS Society, said: “The impact of Yvonne and Duncan’s fundraising is truly extraordinary, and we are hugely grateful for everything they’ve achieved over the past decade.
“It’s been particularly inspiring to see their fundraising go from strength to strength over the pandemic – at a time where our income has been severely hit.
“MS can be relentless, painful and disabling, but there is reason to be hopeful. We believe we can stop MS, and can see a future where nobody needs to worry about their condition getting worse.
“Thanks to brilliant supporters like Yvonne and Duncan, we are closer to reaching this goal than ever before.”
To sign up to the 10in10 Challenge on June 19 2021, visit https://www.10in10.org.uk/
The 10 peaks visited are Causey Pike, Sail, Crag Hill, Wandope, Whiteless Pike, High Snockrigg, Robinson, Dale Head, High Spy and Maiden Moor.