Acorns Parent Carer Champion Tony Frobisher has started a new blog series called ‘Acorns Inspirations’, he’ll be chatting to some fantastic fundraisers about their fundraising to help get you inspired.
In the second of these guest blogs Tony talks to phenomenal fundraiser David Wall.
This is the second in a series of interviews, Acorns Inspirations. Meeting the people who devote time and energy to selflessly raise money on behalf of Acorns Children’s Hospice. I want to shine a well deserved light on these unsung heroes who push themselves to support Acorns.
You could always take the bus….
Last Thursday I drove up to Baggeridge Country Park near Dudley to the west of Birmingham. I had intended cycling from Worcester, a round trip of 60 miles (many of which are quite hilly). However, I decided against it as on Tuesday I had cycled 100 miles, with 6 climbs up the Malvern Hills on my bike. My legs were still feeling it and I couldn’t face another long ride. I’m 53 and not in the Tour de France. I rested and recovered.
But what if you have a year long goal? Something that is so ambitious to achieve that in effect you need to be out every day, day in, day out, whatever the weather. Whether you are tired or not. And added to that, the challenge you set yourself is to walk 5,000,000 steps in 1 year, to raise money and awareness for a charity, but your job is sedentary?
That is exactly the situation the amazing man I went to meet has placed himself in.
David Wall is a 48 year old bus driver from Coseley, West Midlands. A devoted grandfather and an incredibly dedicated, determined and driven (pardon the pun) fundraiser for Acorns Children’s Hospice.
In 2020, Dave began fundraising for Acorns. He set out to walk 4,000,000 steps throughout the year and achieved well over his target. His walks grew in ambition and length, but whatever the great British climate threw at him, from heatwaves to torrential downpours, Dave spent seemingly every spare moment pounding the pavements and canal towpaths around Coseley, Tipton, Dudley, Birmingham and beyond.
As 2020 turned to 2021, most people would have said, yes, job done. Over 4,000,000 steps and lots of money raised. Rest up, feet up,.. let’s watch The Wizard of Oz on the telly. But not Dave Wall. ‘I thought, well, I did 4 million, why not do 5 million this year?’
Every month he plans an endurance walk or event. He has walked from Wolverhampton to Worcester, Walsall to Lichfield, walked to every Premier and League football ground in the West Midlands and completed a 12 hour nonstop walk on Cannock Chase.
Not satisfied with that, he has taken on endurance running events and as I type this is covered in thick sticky mud, soaked to the skin, slogging his way around a 7 kilometre course proudly wearing a (once white) Acorns Children’s Hospice running vest as part of the Mudnificent 7 mud run event.
Dave and I met in Baggeridge Country Park on a pleasant warm morning, but with the threat of rain hanging around. Undeterred and bolstered by a coffee we set off to walk a route through the forest trails. We stopped with unexpected frequency…’That’s a young buzzard there….ah, wood pigeon…’ Dave is a keen ornithologist and enjoys nothing more than a trip somewhere far and distant to catch a sight of a rare visiting bird. Last week it was a trip to Lincolnshire to see the A380 of the bird world, an albatross which had flown all the way from Antarctica. Almost as far as Dave has walked this year……
Thankfully the rain held off and we sat down for an interview. I wanted to know what drove Dave to come up with the incredible events and challenges he has done and what motivates him to dedicate so much time and effort to supporting and fundraising for Acorns.