Lee-on-the-Solent pensioner Lily, 97, overcomes injury to take on month-long 'marathon' for Help for Heroes

A DETERMINED pensioner, inspired by NHS hero Captain Tom, is defying illness and injury to tackle a 30-day ‘marathon’ for a forces charity.
Lily Barnett, 97,  has vowed to walk up and down the corridor outside her flat at Lee-on-Solent all in aid of Help For HeroesLily Barnett, 97,  has vowed to walk up and down the corridor outside her flat at Lee-on-Solent all in aid of Help For Heroes
Lily Barnett, 97, has vowed to walk up and down the corridor outside her flat at Lee-on-Solent all in aid of Help For Heroes

Lily Barnett has vowed to walk up and down the corridor outside her flat in Lee-on-Solent all in aid of Help for Heroes.

The 97-year-old aims to walk 70 metres journey six times a day for a month – almost eight miles in all.

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Lily has diabetes and has had Parkinson's disease for the past 15 years. She has also undergone a hip replacement.

Lily Barnett, 97,  has vowed to walk up and down the corridor outside her flat at Lee-on-Solent all in aid of Help For Heroes. She is doing the 70-metre stretch six times a day for a month.Lily Barnett, 97,  has vowed to walk up and down the corridor outside her flat at Lee-on-Solent all in aid of Help For Heroes. She is doing the 70-metre stretch six times a day for a month.
Lily Barnett, 97, has vowed to walk up and down the corridor outside her flat at Lee-on-Solent all in aid of Help For Heroes. She is doing the 70-metre stretch six times a day for a month.

A Help for Heroes spokeswoman said: ‘The idea of the challenge followed a chat with her granddaughter, Alex Barnes, who had noticed her grandma was getting depressed as a result of her injuries and illnesses which were making it hard for her to get up and out.

‘Lily is fiercely independent and lives on her own.

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‘Alex suggested that Lily needed a purpose and came up with the idea of a fundraiser for Help for Heroes, having been inspired by Captain Tom Moore’s charity walk.

‘The idea of ‘Lily’s Marathon’ took off and she is now astounding her neighbours with her efforts as they keep their doors open to cheer her on as she goes past.’

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Lily's late husband Joe served in the military during the Second World War, as did her six brothers.

Lily worked in the East End of London making parts for the Hosier Glider Planes as well as webbing, parachutes and uniforms for the military.

She said: ‘I would love to do something good for my country and the boys and girls in the armed forces.’

Alex added: ‘I’m so proud of what my wonderful Nana is doing to both support our veterans and to overcome her own walking challenges. She never gives up and is an inspiration to us all.’

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David Martin, head of supporter fundraising at Help for Heroes, said: ‘It’s amazing that she is doing this challenge having gone through so much over the past few years.

‘We are incredibly grateful that she’s doing this to help us give our veterans the support they need to live their lives to the full.’

Loz Moore, former Captain in The Mercian Regiment and a Help for Heroes ambassador, added: ‘It’s incredible that Lily is taking on this challenge at the age of 97, having gone through so much over the past few year; and I can’t thank her enough for doing it to help wounded veterans like me to take their own first steps to recovery.’

Lily’s challenge will end on May 21. To sponsor her, see justgiving.com/fundraising/lilybarnett.

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