A former British Army officer is taking on 70 days of fundraising for a military charity that supported her when she was struggling with her mental health to mark each year of The Queen’s reign for Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee year.
Retired Major Sally Orange is an endurance athlete, adventurer and mental health campaigner who is aiming to walk, run, cycle or ski seven kilometres every day to raise money for Walking With The Wounded - and she hopes others will join her, wherever they are in the world.
The veteran, who served as a physiotherapy officer in the Royal Army Medical Corps for almost 22 years, is taking on the challenge to pay her respects to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who is the first British monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee after 70 years of service.
Sally, speaking to George Ryland, BFBS the Forces Station broadcaster, about the challenge, said: "I think she's an incredible woman, head of the Armed Forces and we all owe a massive tribute to her and it was just my way of thinking, 'Right, how can I support something that supported me and Walking With The Wounded?' I have been very fortunate to have been helped by them.
"I struggled with my mental health towards the end of my military career and yeah, it seemed a great cause to be able to raise money for."
Walking With The Wounded is a charity close to Sally's heart. She said she felt a huge amount of gratitude to the charity for funding several sessions of therapy for her while serving in the military and following her medical retirement.
Sally has been fundraising for a month and will continue to do so until June 2, the anniversary of HM The Queen's Coronation Day.
She is asking for people to donate £7 and if they wish to, complete their own seven-kilometre journey and tag her on social media with the hashtag #7k470days.
Most days, Sally will be completing her seven kilometres around the Salisbury area but there is a good reason she added the possibility of skiing to the list of ways to undertake the challenge. She said: "I'm actually off to Svalbard on Saturday to ski across from the coast to coast, which is why I put in skiing because I know that some of the time while I'm away, I wanted it to fit in in my 70 days, and I wanted it for anybody else to be able to join in as well."
The British Army veteran is encouraging people of all ages to join her in taking on the Platinum Jubilee challenge for Walking With The Wounded and said that it did not have to feel like an overwhelming task, adding: "I've literally had young children join me. I've had an older gentleman of 80 join me, one of the Chelsea Pensioners has joined me.
"It's really getting cadets on board, it's getting lots of different people to just go, 'You know what? Seven K isn't that far'."
If you want to donate, visit Sally's JustGiving page.
Cover image: Maj (Retd) Sally Orange is keen to pay tribute to HM The Queen (Picture: Maj (Retd) Sally Orange).