Walk the Wight holds a very special place in Jo Smith's family heart as the event was co-founded by her father Bill Bradley and friend Frank Stevens.

Here’s is Jo’s #iremember story: 

Walk the Wight holds a very special place in our family’s heart as our dear Dad Bill Bradley co-founded it with his good friend, fellow walker and nature lover, Frank Stevens, back in 1991. 

Mountbatten was chosen as the charity that Walk the Wight supported as Dad always used to say “You just never know when someone you know will need the amazing care and support that Mountbatten provide to patients and families across the Island”. 

We were obviously devastated when the pandemic had to cancel this year’s physical walk but very pleased it has gone virtual instead and hugely grateful to all the people who have signed up for this event. The only other year the walk has ever been disrupted was in 2001 during the outbreak of foot and mouth, when it had to be suspended until the outbreak was over in the Autumn.  

This year’s walk would have been even more special as the 30th Walk the Wight event and lots of celebrations had been planned. The celebrations will hopefully continue with 30 years of Walk the Wight next May (1991 - 2021), when all being well in the world, the physical walk can once more return.  

So glad there will be an online celebration tomorrow (Sunday) on what would have been the day of the actual walk. We as a family have been totting up our walking miles towards Walk the Wight during our lockdown daily permitted exercise. 

Walk the Wight raises £250,000 each year towards Mountbatten’s much needed services they offer not just in the Hospice but also in the community and in the hospital.   

This year, due to the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic and the huge strain this has put charities under including Mountbatten, we are also going to do something else in addition to supporting Walk the Wight to continue fundraising during lockdown.  

So later next week, as a spin on the 26 sporting challenge,  I will be launching an additional fundraising page on Mountbatten’s Coronavirus Appeal page. We are going to request different people to set our family 26 daily lockdown based challenges of their choosing, to signify the 26.5 miles of Walk the Wight and donate when we complete the online challenge and send video proof to whoever set the challenge.  

  As we our also mourning the loss of our beloved IW Festival this year due to the pandemic, (John Giddings has himself previously Walked the Wight), we wondered how we could bring our two favourite events, Walk the Wight and the IW Festival together in some way. So to set the ball rolling, we challenged ourselves to make a (truly hysterical) music video and will be sharing that with our friends and family soon, in anticipation of a donation towards the Mountbatten Coronavirus Appeal.  

Of course anyone else wishing to start a similar 26 challenge fundraiser page, in support of Mountbatten Coronavirus Appeal, to share amongst their own family and friends, can do the same.  

Jo Smith and Family