2 April 2020

With lockdown having a massive impact on how we live our lives, it's important to have a bit of normality in our days.

Two brothers from North West London are marching on with an ambitious 10,000 daily step challenge despite having to stay at home - and it's all the help the homeless.

Nathaniel Weldon, 9, set their goal before the social distancing lockdown with his little brother Zachary, 7, and mum Kristen, in her 40s.

The boys donate to charity every Christmas so to celebrate Nathaniel’s tenth birthday the family vowed to walk a million steps together in aid of the Crisis homelessness charity.

The family hoped to rack up most of their 10,000 steps a day walking to and from school.

Working as a team

Schools being closed has only made them more inventive about ways to get their Fitbit counters moving.

Nathaniel said: “It’s been quite hard now but luckily we were stocking up on the steps while we were at school.”

“We’ve got a small garden outside so Zac and I usually play a lot of football.”

Kristen, a New Yorker who’s lived in London for 18 years, explained that they have done laps of their small St John’s Wood garden and been up and down the stairs “more times than you could count”.

There was some competition between the brothers, according to Kristen, but she has reminded them to work as a team.

She said: “They’re supportive but also competitive as brothers usually seem to be.

“The donations we’ve received have predominantly come on Nathaniel’s page so they were competitive to start but then I said that we’re all in this together so they are very much excited to do this together in honour of Nathaniel’s birthday.

“Zac is very excited to think about what he can do for his birthday which is next September,” she added.

The family have been taking “socially distanced walks” around their neighbourhood, and are all on track reach their million step mark by Nathaniel’s birthday on April 3. 

Kristen explained that she has spoken to the boys about what how the coronavirus is affecting rough sleepers in London.

She said: “Both have been talking about coronavirus at school before schools were closed down, so they certainly understand what’s going on.

“We’ve talked about it since we’ve been in lockdown and talk about where people go if they don’t have a roof over their heads.

“I highlighted to them what Crisis have done in terms of lobbying for hotel rooms and ridding the city of homelessness.”

The brothers know it's important to have a place to go to, especially in lockdown.

Nathaniel said: “It highlights it more now that we are in this pandemic that they don’t have enough food. And they don’t have shelter either.

“It’s quite important that they have that. Those are basic needs for human rights to flourish I think.”

His younger brother Zachary was equally concerned about London’s rough sleepers.

He said: “It’s a terrible thing because you have nobody to look after you. And it’s really sad.

“I always asked my parents about homelessness when I was very young and I didn’t know anything."

Crisis’ fundraising director Richard Lee said: “Thanks so much to Kristen and her tenacious boys.

“Crisis is working harder than ever to support people affected by homelessness who are amongst the most vulnerable and at risk in this pandemic.

“With so many charity events cancelled because of the virus, Step forward to end homelessness is a way that people can still help out safely and help our mission to ensure everyone has a stable home they can call their own.”

The Weldons have raised over £1,200 for Crisis so far.

Nathaniel's donation page can be found here.

Source: MyLondon