Melbourn mum tackles year-long walking challenge to help deaf children

Tess Torjussen, who is taking on the walking challenge to help deaf children, with her baby son Lucas

Tess Torjussen, who is taking on the walking challenge to help deaf children, with her baby son Lucas - Credit: National Deaf Children's Society

A mum from Melbourn is 640,000 steps into a year-long walking challenge for the National Deaf Children's Society.

Tess Torjussen, 42, pledged to walk 50,000 steps each week for the charity - calling her plan '50,000 steps for 50,000 kids' to match the number of deaf children in the UK.

She was inspired to support the charity after her eight-month-old son Lucas was identified as deaf at eight weeks old. He had hearing aids fitted at 12 weeks and is now being assessed for cochlear implants.

Tess began her challenge at the start of January, and if all goes according to plan she will have completed a total of at least 2.6 million steps - the equivalent of Land's End to John O'Groats and back again.

Her walks usually take her around the village with Lucas in his buggy, while listening to a podcast or catching up with friends. She also walks a lot around the Wimpole Hall estate, and is hoping to venture further afield as the weather improves.

Tess, who lives with her husband Drew, his 13-year-old daughter Mairead and baby Lucas, said: "I’ve benefitted so much from the events and information that the National Deaf Children’s Society provides, and the community that I've come across, so I just wanted to give something back.

“It’s helped me keep fit after having a baby and also looked after my own mental health during a fairly challenging time. 

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“So far I've been drenched in the rain and got the buggy stuck in a cattle grid, but I've also met up with lots of different people for walks and got lots of fresh air. 

 “I did have to pass the baton over to a fellow mum, Fiona Long, who took up my challenge for two weeks while I was in bed with the flu, but I'm hoping that's the only time I'll have to do that all year.”

So far Tess, who works in marketing for Jordans Dorset Ryvita, has raised £890 of her £1,000 target, and is hopeful of raising more.

Melissa Jones, of the National Deaf Children's Society, said: "The efforts of selfless fundraisers like Tess will help us to keep on doing our vital work, now and into the future.”

To donate go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/teamtorj