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Pontypridd kids take two million steps for Diabetes UK Cymru

Awen-Haf and Llion Harding, aged 9 and 7, from Church Village, Pontypridd decided to double the One Million Step Challenge between July and September this year, raising £315 for Diabetes UK Cymru for their efforts. The children’s father, Scott lives with type 1 diabetes and this is the third time the family has taken on the walking challenge.

Their mother, Marie Harding, a nursery teacher, said: “As a family, we usually take on similar challenges and take part in annual fundraising activities for a cause close to our hearts to raise funds and awareness. The children have journeyed with their dad, as he moved from injections to pump to control his diabetes.

“They took to the walking like ducks to water, they love a challenge and the idea of helping others, especially people who possibly have been through similar experiences to their dad.

“This was an ideal challenge during lockdown. They wrote postcards to their friends and walked to deliver them. My son is sports-mad, so we took a rugby ball to play at the field as part of the walking. My daughter loves her baby dolls so took her little pram out at every opportunity. They also enjoy the outdoors in any weather and are used to it, so the rain didn’t bother them at all.”

The challenge took them to beaches, coastal paths, mountains, castles and other Welsh landscapes and they ended up doing an impressive 2 million steps in 90 days.

Marie added; “We like walking but it’s hard to fit it all in. The worst part was when both kids had blisters on a 9-mile walk, but they felt really encouraged by all the support they were getting from family and friends and just carried on. We have such busy lifestyles with so many activities, we are rarely home but we’ve made time to walk and it gifted us with time to talk to each other, so it was great for our family”,

Dai Williams, National Director of Diabetes UK Cymru, said; “This year we’ve seen demand for our services reach record levels, while our own funding has been significantly impacted. More so than ever, people with diabetes in Wales need us, but we need your support to be able to continue fighting their corner. Thank you to Awen-Haf and Llion for their amazing effort and taking on the One Million Step Challenge, you’re both incredible.”