Ron Bowler is known by many as a longstanding supporter of Mountbatten through his involvement with Walk the Wight. During the lockdown, he’s turned his organisational skills towards helping coordinate the delivery of scrubs made by volunteers across the Island. This is Ron's story:

On retiring in June 2019, I was looking forward to volunteering for the Mountbatten Fundraising Team. Helping with Go Yellow, Christmas Fayre and Santa Dash was all a new and enjoyable experience. Having been involved in Walk the Wight since its conception, it was going to be another new experience being on the other side working for the fundraising teamThen, along came Covid-19 and scuppered the Spring and Summer events. 

With my background in the builders' merchants industry, I was asked if I could source PPE for Mountbatten; face masks, visors etc. It was soon evident that stocks had been exhausted and all such products were on a very long lead time. At the same time, Mountbatten had contacted Karen Robb from the Sewing Studio to make scrubs for the nursing and care teamsI was then contacted to see if I could help, not to make but to help with the logistics of collecting donated fabric and delivering it to sewers, collecting homemade scrubs, and delivering the finished items back to Mountbatten.  Karen's team of sewers grew to over 100; we had nine drivers covering the Island and the target for Mountbatten was soon surpassed. We then turned our attention to satisfying demand from nursing and care homesOver 2000 sets of scrubs later, a project which started late March has now peaked; some drivers have returned to work, and most cupboards across the Island are devoid of spare sheets and duvet covers! Whilst we are still making and delivering scrubs the quantities are very much less, however, we have a plan to carry on utilising hundreds of donated pillowcases, so watch this space. 

Given that for the last 29 years I had always been involved in Walk the Wight as a marshal and involved in the Morey's/Jewson support on the day, I had never walked. COVID-19 has allowed this to happenevery day throughout May, in line with the original government restrictions, for 31 days (and with seven still to go),  I walk around a route in Northwood which was taking just under 1 hr and now just shy of 50 minutes, along with my wife and Ruby our Jack Russell. have been sponsored by friends and family, as well as receiving some generous donations on the way round. 

As well as still sorting out volunteer drivers, I am now helping to put Walk the Wight Your Way medals into envelopes ready for posting.