A virtual walk to raise money for a local charity has reached its halfway point.

11 parents and supporters from Andover Twenty1, which supports people with Down’s Syndrome and their families, have been collectively walking the 1,083 miles from Land’s End to John O’Groats.

Their virtual walk has now reached the Peak District, putting them halfway through their fundraising journey, which they hope to complete by Christmas.

The charity is looking to raise £10,000 from the walk, which it says is “the approximate yearly cost for running all charity services and training.” They said that with activities and sponsorship on hold, they are concerned “about the future for our children and community.”

At the halfway milestone, they have raised just over £3,200, with 117 supporters having contributed to the campaign so far.

The charity, founded in 2015 by John Percival and Libby Matthews, provides a range of activities for people who use its services.

These include ‘stay and play’ sessions for children and families to meet and relax; an early development group for babies and preschool children to help them achieve developmental milestones, and a school outreach service to help the development, education and inclusion of children at schools in the local area. They also provide evening classes and training for families and professionals alike.

Jenny Ogg, Andover Twenty1’s Treasurer, told the Advertiser: “COVID-19 greatly impacted our fundraising plans for 2020. Pre-planned activities and sponsorships were cancelled or put on hold indefinitely, concerning us about the future of the community and our children.

“The Length of the UK Virtual Challenge was presented as a way to safely fundraise during this period. Ten parents enthusiastically began the challenge on the 17th of July, and are now halfway through.

“We have been blown away by the response and the generosity of the Andover community, especially in the current climate.

“We know that people with Down’s Syndrome have massive potential when given the right opportunities and support. Our mission is to provide the community with the right services at the right time. Currently, we offer two long-term services for children aged 6 months to 11 years but we are hoping to expand our scope in 2021.”

To learn more about the campaign, or make a donation, please click here to head to the website