Sudbury community warden inspired by battle with coronavirus to take on One Million Step Challenge in aid of Diabetes UK
During his battle with Covid-19 at the start of the year, Bradley Smith said his life flashed before his eyes as he received treatment in hospital.
The experience gave the impetus for the well-known manager of the Sudbury community warden team, who learned he was diabetic two-and-a-half years ago, to make a change and lead a more active lifestyle.
To support this goal, and help others living with diabetes, the Great Cornard resident has joined the One Million Step Challenge, a national fundraising campaign launched by Diabetes UK, which runs from the beginning of July until the end of September.
“The main reason for doing this is because, when I had Covid in January, I couldn’t climb up the stairs without feeling like I had climbed a mountain, so I wanted to set myself a challenge,” Bradley, of Maldon Court, told the Free Press.
“I’m active in my role as warden, but I wanted to be more active. Before, I might have gone for a walk once or twice a week, but Covid kind of jeed me on, so I started walking every night.
“The first walk was a bit of a shock to the system, but now, when you’re looking at your watch and see you’ve gone three miles, you think, I’ll keep going, and before you know it, you’re at six miles.
“I try to do between three and five miles every night, and on weekends, I go about eight to 10 miles. When I do a long distance, it feels like quite an accomplishment.”
Bradley, who received a Suffolk Hero award last month in recognition of his contributions to the community during the coronavirus pandemic, has already clocked up more than 400,000 steps towards the challenge, with 34,641 the most recorded in a single day.
He has twice broken his personal fundraising target, with over £300 in donations so far.
“I live in Cornard, where there’s so many footpaths, and it’s just nice finding out where they go,” Bradley added. “I didn’t realise how many there were in the countryside.
“I have been out to explore Clare and gone up to the priory and the castle. I’ve quite enjoyed it, because the paths go on for miles and you don’t realise how far you’re going.
“I’ve learned that becoming more active is something you can do if you put your mind to it and make it part of your routine, and it’s beneficial to your health at the same time.”
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