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Man with multiple sclerosis walks mile day after Captain Tom Moore inspiration

PUBLISHED: 13:05 25 May 2020 | UPDATED: 08:51 26 May 2020

Richard Leigh is walking every day to fundraise for the Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre Norfolk. Picture: Richard Leigh

Richard Leigh is walking every day to fundraise for the Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre Norfolk. Picture: Richard Leigh

Archant

A man with multiple sclerosis is walking a mile a day with a walker for charity after being inspired by Captain Tom Moore.

War veteran Captain Tom Moore, 99, after achieving his goal of walking 100 laps of his Bedfordshire garden to raise money for the NHS. Picture: PA Wire/PA ImagesWar veteran Captain Tom Moore, 99, after achieving his goal of walking 100 laps of his Bedfordshire garden to raise money for the NHS. Picture: PA Wire/PA Images

Richard Leigh, from Old Catton, who has used a walker for five years, has so far walked 33 miles along the North Walsham Road to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre Norfolk.

The 58-year-old was inspired after seeing Captain Tom Moore walk one hundred laps before his 100th birthday which raised £32.8m for the NHS.

Mr Leigh, who keeps fit normally with pilates classes, said he has not walked this far before although takes part in an annual one-mile walk for charity.

He said: “It is quite tiring but a by-product has been that my fitness has increased. It used to take me one hour to walk the mile at the start of the challenge and now it takes me around 40 minutes.”

His walks have been spurred on by numerous well-wishers, who have stood outside their homes and even stopped Mr Leigh in the streets at a social distance to congratulate him on his efforts.

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Mr Leigh said: “It is very rewarding and encouraging when people stop and talk to me or support me. It is heartening to see that people care.”

He is raising money for the Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre Norfolk on Hurricane Way in Norwich, which he says is at risk of going bust due to lockdown restrictions.

Mr Leigh said: “I have volunteered at the centre for eight years and about 400 people a week go through the centre.

“We don’t have enough money currently to pay the basic costs of rent, which is about £2,000 a month, and there is a real threat to its survival.

“Anyone with a neurological condition across the region goes there and it offers support from therapy to benefits advice.

“It is a vital service and if it is forced to close these people will be stuck at home not doing any exercises, lose their independence and may suffer mentally as going out to the centre is good for mental health.”

To donate visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/richard-leigh


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