Winter walker Judy smashes Faith in Families fundraising target

A teacher who walked 47 miles in just a week, before her 47th birthday, has raised an amazing £690 for adoption and children’s charity Faith in Families – almost three times her original target.

After a full day’s teaching at Bishop Ellis Catholic Primary School in Thurmaston, Leicestershire, mum-of-four Judy Barber braved the winter weather by walking around her village of Rothley each night for a week, ahead of her 47th birthday on Monday February 8.

Teacher Judy Barber - sponsored walk for FiF
Judy Barber’s 47 mile walk raised £690 for Faith in Families

Judy’s original £250 target on online charity fundraising website was quickly passed and her final total was £690. The money will go to help the work of Faith in Families (FiF); an independent adoption and children’s charity based in Nottingham, which has been helping vulnerable families and children across the East Midlands for more than 70 years.

School Social Work Service

Judy chose FiF to benefit from her fundraising after seeing the positive impact of its School Social Work Service on pupils in her own school. Around a dozen schools across the East Midlands use FiF’s Service (launched in 2008), where trained social workers are based in school to help pupils address behavioural or emotional issues affecting their ability to learn. Service staff also undertake targeted work – perhaps addressing a single issue, such as bereavement counselling or other crisis support – in additional East Midlands’ schools.

Judy said: “Good mental health is so important; without it, children can’t learn and move on academically. I was really impressed by what Faith in Families’ School Social Work Service does.”

With the support of her family, after teaching all day Judy walked between 5.8 miles and 8 miles each night for a week – averaging 7 miles a day – taking her up to two hours at a time.

Terrific effort

“The weather wasn’t too bad, although one night I did get soaked. Another night I got home, rang the doorbell and then realised I hadn’t quite done enough miles for the day, so immediately set off again. My family answered the door to an empty doorstep,” added Judy.

Leroy Aitcheson, Schools and Communities Manager at Faith in Families, said: “This is a terrific effort from Judy, especially when you consider she’d been teaching all day before she even began her walks; and she’s had such great sponsorship.

“At a difficult time for school pupils emotionally, the money Judy has raised will be very useful in helping our School Social Work Service continue to support schools in the region.”

Laura Payne, Acting Chief Executive Officer for FiF, added: “Judy has literally gone the extra mile, or in this case 47 of them, to support our charity. We are very grateful for her winter walking and to all those who have sponsored her.”

Get involved

Faith in Families fundraises throughout the year to finance its activities, as part of its commitment to ensuring children are given every opportunity to lead confident lives full of potential. If you’d like to take part in a sponsored activity to help FiF or support us in other ways, please see our website for more information at

For more information about Faith in Families and its services generally see its website at

For further information on this news release please contact Sean Kirby, Business Development Officer at Faith in Families, on email or mobile 07880 388186.