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  • Date: 02/08/2023

Director of Support and Wellbeing, Mel, takes on walking challenge to raise money for Glow

This week we’re saying a big thank you to our Director of Support and Wellbeing, Mel Dunn!

Determined Mel is currently on the final stretch of a walking challenge that has spread over the course of nearly a decade. 

She has spent the last nine years ticking off the Lake District’s Wainwright fells, so far completing 204 out of 214. 

Now, with just 10 fells left to tackle, she’s using the final push as an opportunity to raise money for our domestic abuse charity Glow and the British Heart Foundation, all in memory of a close friend who inspired her on her very first fell walk.

Mel took on her first fell back in the summer of 2014, with husband Doug and friends Andrew and Jane Wood. Unbeknownst to them at the time, they actually took on one of the most challenging fells – Helvellyn via Striding Edge. 

“On a warm sunny day in July 2014, we took on our first adventure with Andrew and Jane,” explained Mel.

“We completed not one, but four fells that day – Birkhouse Moor, Helvellyn, Nethermost Pike and Dollywaggon Pike. It was challenging, nervewracking and tiring, but I loved every minute and never looked back!”

A few weeks after their first walk together, Andrew sadly passed away unexpectedly from a heart attack. For Mel and Doug, the fells became ‘a place of solace.’ They continued walking in Andrew’s memory and used the Lakes as somewhere to reflect and enjoy the outdoors.

“We kept going for Andrew,” continued Mel.

“We were accompanied by friends and family, including Jane, at different points. Before we knew it we’d completed 20 fells, then 30, then 100. Soon we reached the 204 that we’re on today.

“Doug and I often think of Andrew when we’re walking. I still have a shoelace in my rucksack that he gave me when we climbed our first fell. Mine had broken and prepared as ever, Andrew had a spare set of laces on him. One lace repaired my broken one and the other went into my bag, where it’s remained ever since.

“I think Andrew would be very supportive and proud if he was here, so I’d like to support him by raising money for the British Heart Foundation in his memory.”

Alongside the British Heart Foundation, Mel is also walking to raise money for Glow too. 

She explained: “Another passion of mine is Glow. They provide support to people who have been impacted by domestic abuse in lots of different ways.

“That might be refuge or other safe accommodation, educating children and young people about healthy relationships, or working with perpetrators to change their behaviour.

“I have seen first-hand the amazing work that Glow do, in particular their work educating children and young people to gradually prevent them from entering into abusive relationships in the future.

“Victims of domestic abuse, and their children, face their own personal fears and challenges every day, so the least I can do is raise funds to support Glow’s work.”

British Heart Foundation’s Fundraising Manager for Cheshire and Greater Manchester East, Leah Goodhind, said: “Mel is taking on an incredible challenge, simply epic! We’re so grateful to Mel for supporting the British Heart Foundation by taking on the Wainwright Fells.

“For more than 60 years, the public’s generosity has funded BHF research that has turned ideas that once seemed like ‘science fiction’ into treatments and cures that save lives every day. But millions of people are still waiting for the next breakthrough.

“It is only with donations from amazing supporters like Mel that we can keep our research going and discover the treatments and cures of the future. Good luck Mel – we at BHF will be following your progress closely and cheering you on every step of the way.”

Click here to support Mel’s fundraising on JustGiving.