Just like The Proclaimers - Digby RAF sergeant plans to walk 1,000 miles!

Sgt Gemma Slaughter, of RAF Digby, setting out on a 1,000-mile challenge. EMN-170725-110641001
Sgt Gemma Slaughter, of RAF Digby, setting out on a 1,000-mile challenge. EMN-170725-110641001

An RAF Sergeant will be embarking on a 1,000-mile fundraising walk while marking the upcoming centenary of the Air Force and her base, RAF Digby - all inspired by the famous song by The Proclaimers - 500 Miles.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) Sgt Gemma Slaughter will begin a 250-day countdown to the RAF’s centenary on April 1, 2018, with RAF Digby reaching the same milestone just a few days before.

All proceeds raised go directly to SSAFA, the Armed Forces charity.

After realising that these two important events were happening simultaneously, Sgt Slaughter decided that she would like to mark the occasions by organising a fundraising drive.

When training to join the RAF, Sgt Slaughter recalls The Proclaimers song ‘500 Miles’ was viewed as an anthem among the recruits. After hearing the song again recently, it inspired her to design her fundraising challenge around the track, walking 500 miles for the RAF and then 500 more in honour of RAF Digby, with all funds donated going to SSAFA.

Sgt Slaughter will be walking an average of four miles a day for 250 days straight, until she has completed the full 1,000 miles on April 1 next year. A Just Giving page has been set up so people can sponsor Sgt Slaughter as she completes her challenge, and her progress will be recorded on a fitness tracker app. www.justgiving.com/SgtS1000MileChallenge

In addition to her personal challenge, Sgt Slaughter is also aiming to recruit 99 volunteers to take on the 1,000 miles alongside her – with running, swimming, cycling or walking all deemed acceptable methods to complete the four miles on a daily basis. So far, Sgt Slaughter has recruited 50 people to take part but is keen to attract another 49 in order to reach her goal.

Sgt Gemma Slaughter said: “I am very excited to be embarking on this 1,000 mile challenge on behalf of SSAFA and want to encourage as many people as possible to join in with me. I’ve designed the event specifically so that it’s open to almost everyone – whether you want to walk, run, swim, cycle, cartwheel; it’s completely up to you!

“As I have always worked in tri-service environments and have been an active member of SSAFA for the last four years, it seemed like the perfect charity to support through this challenge. They are an organisation dedicated to providing lifelong support for serving personnel, veterans and their families in a multitude of ways.”