Meet Martin and his inspirational son Joshua, who tackled 100 miles in 100 days to raise awareness and money for Family Fund. They chose a challenge that could “include everyone in the family with something we could do together no matter our ability”.

Martin was inspired to fundraise for Family Fund as his family has previously been helped by us, he told us “I know how much it means when someone offers a helping hand when you need it most.” Martin wanted to give back so other families could benefit from Family Fund’s support, and what better way than to include his son Joshua?

“Joshua has a great sense of humour, cheeky smile, and always tries his best at everything, so we wanted to give something back and raise awareness of all his diagnoses.” Joshua has autism, severe learning disabilities, physical and verbal dyspraxia, severe language delay, epilepsy, sensory processing, sleep disorder and parasomnia.

100 miles seemed a fitting number as Joshua has 10 disabilities. Every time they reached 10 miles, Martin took to social media to share more information on one particular disability with an explanation of what it was and how it effects Joshua. This helped raise awareness, knowledge and funds, with Martin and Joshua raising an incredible £410.

It wasn’t always a walk in the park though with Martin recalling “motivation was difficult at times, Joshua can get tired very easily and struggles with anxieties a lot so sometimes even getting out of the house can be a struggle, especially if it’s a change in routine.”

The main motivation for myself was knowing it was going towards a great cause, knowing first-hand how much it can help was such a great driver.

Martin shared his top tips:

  • Do something fun – “We raised money last year for Family Fund in lockdown doing 26 laps of the house, taking turns as a family to relay around so we could all get involved.”
  • Get the family involved – “If you’re struggling to find the time to do training for an event due to childcare or carer commitments, get everyone involved.”
  • Share your fundraising page - “We set up a JustGiving page initially and ran it as a blog, after sharing it with family and friends. We then started to #hashtag certain disabilities in the hope others would pick up on it.”
  • Don’t be disheartened – “You don’t have to raise thousands, every penny counts and will be appreciated by everyone involved. Set a realistic target then if you pass it, it gives you extra motivation.”

Martin and Joshua have big plans to continue fundraising for Family Fund. To celebrate Martin’s 40th and Joshua’s 13th birthdays they plan to ride from Manchester to Blackpool together. This will be another massive achievement for Joshua having only recently learnt to ride his bike.

With Joshua’s learning disabilities, it was difficult to explain why we were doing this. He loved family time so the promise of a picnic and bringing his sisters along for a day out was all he needed.

If Martin and Joshua’s determination has inspired you to fundraise for Family Fund then find out how you can get involved.