Tuesday 12 May 2020

A walking ‘Unicorn’ has so far raised over £700 by taking part in the Wales Air Ambulance Walk Wales virtual challenge.

Seven-year-old schoolgirl, Olivia Davies, entered Walk Wales and chose the 52 miles distance, which is the equivalent of a walk from Hay on Wye to Powis Castle – dressed as an inflatable unicorn.

Rain or shine, Olivia and her mum Gemma are spending each day walking to get the miles in. So far Olivia has already smashed her 52 miles.

The Walk Wales Challenge allows participants to choose from four different distances, which would be the equivalent of a walk between iconic Welsh locations.

Olivia, from Llanelli, lives near the Charity’s Dafen base and enjoys seeing the helicopters when she is out playing in her garden. She has set her sights on completing the Hay on Wye to Powis Castle challenge in just one month.

Explaining why Olivia wanted to do the challenge, her proud mum Gemma Davies said: “Just recently, Olivia had become increasingly aware of the importance of the NHS due to the media and communities coming together in an attempt to raise money to help tackle COVID-19. This raised Olivia's curiosity about the Wales Air Ambulance service, and she began to ask questions about what role it plays and who pays for it. 

“I explained to Olivia that it is a charity that relies on people to donate their money so that it can keep going up into the sky and continue to save lives. I also explained that if the charity doesn’t raise money then the helicopter can’t fly. Olivia responded without any hesitation and said she would like to help Wales Air Ambulance by raising money to help them help others.”

The Stebonheath school pupil is really grateful of the support she has received from the public, which includes lots of waves, car beeps and people stopping to ask why she is dressed up and then giving donations.

Gemma said Olivia is enjoying the challenge and is delighted with the amount of money she has so far raised, especially during her walks.

She said: “She’s raised £60 by people stopping and giving donations. It makes her feel so proud and she’s full of smiles. Olivia was ecstatic when she reached her target. She feels very proud of what she has achieved and is determined to finish her walk and is hoping to keep raising funds for the Charity.”

Mark Stevens, the Charity’s South Wales Fundraising Manager, said: “Olivia has every reason to be proud of her achievement. To have such awareness of the current situation and empathy towards others at such a young age is wonderful. Every penny raised by Olivia will help us support people across Wales in their time of need.

“On behalf of our Charity and the people of Wales, thank you Oliva and Gemma. Thank you for raising money and thank you for bringing a big smile to faces everywhere.”

You can donate to Olivia’s Just Giving fundraising page - Olivia’s and Gemma’s page Smiles for Miles.

There are several ways that the public can continue to support the Wales Air Ambulance. These include online donations, signing up to the Charity’s Lifesaving Lottery or by coming up with their own innovative ways to fundraise at home – like Olivia. Further information can be found via www.walesairambulance.com.

Alternatively, a £5 text-message donation can be made by texting the word HELI to 70711.