A FARNHAM man has raised more than £500 for charity Ataxia UK after walking the equivalent distance from his home to his GP – no mean feat for someone living with the debilitating condition.

Derek Wood, of Weybourne, was diagnosed with Ataxia 13 years ago and previously received an award for his efforts in launching the Farnham & District Ataxia Support Group more than six years ago.

Ataxia is a neurological condition which can affect co-ordination, balance and speaking - with estimates that there are at least 10,000 adults in the UK with Ataxia.

The local support group had planned to set up a table at Farnham Hospital to help promote and raise funds for the charity, but because of Covid-19 restrictions it was not possible.

Instead, Derek came up with the idea of walking from his home to his registered doctor’s surgery - a total of 3.3km - but soon realised this wouldn’t be possible, opting to visit his local gym and walk the distance over the course of three days on a treadmill.

Derek said: "When I was approached by the people at Ataxia UK, I was a bit sceptical because physical challenges are not my sort of thing.

"They suggested that we should either walk, run or cycle - two of those are a non-starter for me.

"When I suggested to my wife from Weybourne to my surgery, she said I was mad. I thought instead I should be doing it from my gym.

"I have to say it was most challenging, but I really enjoyed it."

Derek gave praise to all those at his gym - People for Places Leisure in Aldershot - who had been "brilliant" with helping to put up balloons and hand out leaflets on the Ataxia group.

So far, Derek has raised more than £500 for the charity.