Jonathan completes coastal challenge to help children’s ward charity

Jonathan Smith completed a coastal walking challenge for Dreamdrops. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

Jonathan Smith completed a coastal walking challenge for Dreamdrops. Picture: CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

A St Neots man overcame a chronic back injury to complete a 100-mile coastal trek in aid of hospital charity, Dreamdrops.

Jonathan Smith started his trek at Hunstanton in the spring and planned to walk continuously until reaching Lowestoft, the most easterly point in Great Britain.

He chose to raise funds for Dreamdrops, which provides equipment and support to Hinchingbrooke Hospital’s Holly Ward, after his son was taken ill after two weeks of having a cold, followed by sinusitis.

Jonathan said: “My son was diagnosed with orbital cellulitis putting him at high risk of blood poisoning, losing his eye or hearing or, even worse, meningitis.

“After two weeks of intensive drug treatment, he thankfully recovered. Having spent every day and night by his side and feeling totally helpless, I decided to raise money to buy more toys, computers and iPads having seen how those already on Holly Ward provided a welcome distraction, enabling the kids to just be children again, irrespective of their illness or condition.”

Despite a promising start, his walk was cut short at Sheringham – some 30 miles in - due to a reoccurrence of a back injury.

After extensive physiotherapy to cope with the condition, Jonathan re-started on June 21.

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Jonathan said: “The night before the walk was terrible with very high winds rocking the caravan from side to side. I left after 3am and had to take it steady as the wind was really strong walking along the open cliff top.

“But after a full day of trekking through different terrains and beautiful scenery I completed the walk at 10pm. This was a huge challenge for me and one that has had its ups and downs but I am pleased to have been able to raise money for this worthy charity.”

Anne-Marie Hamilton, chairman of Dreamdrops, said: “Jonathan showed real grit and determination as part of his walk was over soft sand dunes, which must have been hard to walk on, when you are already feeling exhausted.

“It has taken real courage to go back to where you had to leave off, in order to complete the challenge that he set himself as this was over some desolate and isolated areas. He has raised a fantastic £1,500 through his walks and his night trek up Snowdon. We cannot thank him enough for his continued efforts in raising money for Dreamdrops.”

Jonathan added: “I really cannot thank the doctors and nurses enough for all they did for our family. Whilst the challenges I have faced have been daunting, raising funds is incredibly rewarding and I’d encourage others to do so; it doesn’t have to involve physical challenges, just donating whatever you can afford makes a difference. It’s great to see that the money raised is being used to benefit the children on the ward.”

If you would like to donate visit or for more information about Dreamdrops visit: