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On Sunday 9th October Dawn, Simeon, Philip and I, Louise took part in Test Way Walk, organised by the Rotary Club of Romsey Test. Simeon longest legs but no training set off at 8.00am to walk 25.5 miles from St. Mary Bourne to Romsey. Philip, Dawn and I shorter legs and even less training set off at the more civilised hour of 10.30 to walk 11 miles from Stockbridge to Romsey.

The weather was warm and sunny and the scenery was beautiful. The route was fully marshalled and the key points were signed so there was no fear of anyone getting lost, very important when you’ve overlooked your reading glasses for the map. Despite sore feet and a few blisters, we all made it to the end to receive our medals and a much-needed ice cream or two. In all, about 700 people took part, raising money for a variety of charities. Our sponsors were very generous and we raised about £1000 for the Ossie Newell Foundation.


We are delighted to acknowledge the presentation of an award to Ossie Newell from the University of Nottingham - given to him in recognition of many years of work supporting the improvement of Stroke Services.
November 2016
Dear Ossie,
Congratulations on achieving a Longstanding Volunteer Award.
This Award is in recognition of your unwavering dedication, passion and commitment to improving Stroke Rehabilitation Research here at our University and demonstrates our appreciation of your efforts to support and encourage Professor Marion Walker's Team. Your sustained Commitment and enthusiasm for our University, and the community in which it is embedded, is exceptional. I know you have been working hard to set up the Ossie Newell Foundation to support PhD studentships in this field, and I wish you every success in this endeavour. 
Your work has raised the profile and broadened our knowledge and understanding of stroke rehabilitation, informing new interventions to benefit future stroke survivors. The impact of your contribution is outstanding. We are extremely fortunate to have your sustained input and dedication.
Congratulations again on this very well deserved achievement.
Yours sincerely,
Professor Sir David Greenaway

It all started with a Sunday run - Dominic has been a keen runner for many years, however one Sunday he decided to take his brother Aaron, who has cerebral palsy and is wheelchair bound, out running with him - Dominic pushing Aaron along in his wheelchair. Due to his condition, for many years whilst the family have always included Aaron in everything they do, when it came to physical activity Aaron joined in from the sidelines - often being the judge or scorer, so to be able to participate physically was one Aaron relished. This became a family routine - after dinner on a Sunday, Aaron got ready in his 'running' gear and whilst the rest of the family ran, Dominic pushed Aaron the 4.5 mile circuit near to his home, which he loved.

By early 2015, Dominic pushed hard to enter the Robin Hood Marathon. Not just for himself - he had completed the marathon himself previously, but to include Aaron -and push him the whole 26-mile route in his wheel-chai r. The organisers had to decide if this was acceptable, the route had been changed and was very challenging in parts - even more so when pushing a grown adult in a wheelchair, but eventually agreement was given and Aaron was excited to be taking part himself.

Dominic and Aaron made this a sponsored event to raise money for Aaron's day-centre at Mencap Nottingham to provide them with much needed funds to benefit the service users - and Aaron's friends there.
Dominic and Aaron prepared for the marathon increasing their route mileage a week at a time. Although Aaron was being pushed, the additional strain on his body to remain seated well and tolerate the terrain was considerably hard for him to sustain for long periods of time. When the day arrived, he was understandably a little anxious, however both completed the full marathon, with Dominic being able to take Aaron out of his wheelchair for the last leg of the route and support Aarons full body weight to enable him to 'walk' across the finishing line - a massive achievement for both, and one which made their family extremely proud. Aaron was so excited to receive his finishing medal and for once, could participate physically, he shone with pride, raising £1,500.00 for Mencap Nottingham to put to good use.

The following year, Dominic set himself a new running challenge. Having ran the marathon, pushed a wheelchair whilst running the marathon, training every week and even running out in the Portuguese heat across the dry terrain, on hearing that a friend’s young daughter had leukemia, Dominic and two other friends decided to raise money to send her to Disneyland Paris - by running the 90-mile route from Nottingham to Skegness in 48 hours.
The route was planned, and the equivalent of 2 full marathons a day were to be run to complete the journey in the set time. Aided by Dominic's brother and father to navigate and keep the trio on an appropriate route, the 3 ran through county after county, finally reaching the clock tower in Skegness in the early evening of day 2, raising over £3,500.00 for the little girl.

This year Aaron was to participate again, and Dominic and Aaron completed the full 26-mile Robin Hood Marathon, but for a different cause. This year it was a sponsored event for the Ossie Newell Foundation Trust to raise funds to sponsor one PhD student a year to carry out research for stroke survivors and their families. There is no chance whatsoever that they would not complete it, sheer guts and determination to succeed saw them through and once again they were both winners, raising more than £2,200.00 plus, for stroke research at the University of Nottingham.

We thank Dominic and Aaron for their dedication and commitment, it is really appreciated.

With the date set for the ONF launch, my sister, a friend and I signed up to take part in Gung Ho! Nottingham on the 17th September 2016, a 5k run around an inflatable obstacle course, set up in Wollaton Park. We asked our friends, colleagues and families to sponsor us. I teach in a primary school, so I also asked the staff, parents and children to sponsor me. In addition, we held a cake sale and my school kindly donated half of the funds it had raised from its very own ‘Bake Off’ event.

As a grey morning dawned it was not without some trepidation that we set off for Wollaton Park. Although feeling rather out of our comfort zone we embraced the idea of Gung Ho (‘unthinkingly enthusiastic and eager’) and approached the course with gusto and lots of laughter! Over the 5 kilometres we tackled all sorts of inflatable obstacles including a climbing wall and a maze. We finished with a trip down Europe's tallest slide, 5 storeys high and nearly 200 metres long (not to mention the cold water waiting at the bottom!). We ended the race exhausted but happy and due to everyone's generosity we raised over £700 for the ONF.