97-year-old to battle Parkinson’s to complete fundraising challenge

A 97-year-old woman is holding her own lockdown challenge by battling Parkinson’s disease to walk the corridor of her home every day for a month to raise money for Help for Heroes.

Lily Barnett, of Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire, has spoken of her determination to complete the challenge despite her limited mobility caused by the nerve condition.

Lily Barnett is determined to complete her walking challenge for Help for Heroes (Help for Heroes/PA)

She also suffers from diabetes and has had a stroke and she has also had two recent falls breaking her hip and humerus bone.

She aims to complete the 70-metre length walk of her corridor, six times a day every day for a month using her walking frame to raise the money for service personnel with injuries and illnesses.

Mrs Barnett was inspired to take on the challenge after her granddaughter, Alex Barnes, noticed she was becoming depressed.

She was also spurred on by Captain Tom Moore’s charity walk and wanted to do something in memory of her husband Joe, who died at the age of 47 and who had served in the Second World War, as well as her father and uncles who served in the Great War.

Lily Barnett’s wedding with husband Joe (Family handout/PA)

Mrs Barnett herself worked in the East End of London making parts for glider planes and webbing, parachutes and uniforms for the military during the war effort.

She said: “If it’s the last thing I do, I would love to do something good for my country and the boys and girls in the Armed Forces.”

Ms Barnes said: “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.”

Lily Barnett, 97 (Help for Heroes/PA)

David Martin, of Help for Heroes, said: “Like Lily, many of our wounded veterans who have experienced trauma often stop going out and start isolating as they feel very low.

“It’s amazing that she is doing this challenge having gone through so much over the past few years – and 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.

“Thank you, Lily.”

To support Mrs Barnett, who is set to complete her challenge on May 21, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lilybarnett.

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