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A double Olympic gold medalist is encouraging people to take part in a new active fundraising event in support of a Kent NHS Trust.

Retired middle distance athlete Dame Kelly Holmes, who lives in Hildenborough, is backing the ‘Go the Distance’ campaign which aims to raise funds for Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Charitable Fund.

The event involves people walking, running or cycling either 5km, 10km, a half marathon or full marathon in a maximum of 30 days in return for sponsorship. Donations will support the charity’s dedicated Covid-19 response fund for staff health and wellbeing.

Dame Kelly, who achieved seven Gold, eight Silver and four Bronze medals throughout her career, said: “NHS staff have rightly been recognised as heroes during Covid-19.  However, I have always applauded them, especially knowing the exceptional care they gave my mother in her final months. My mother worked for the NHS for over 30 years and received treatment and care at Maidstone Hospital’s Kent Oncology Centre and on the hospital’s wards.

“Appreciation goes further than just at a time of a pandemic and that’s why I am supporting this cause, so please ‘Go the Distance’ and help support Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Charitable Fund.”

Participants are encouraged to set up their own fundraising page and everyone who raises £10 or more will receive a bespoke medal. A £10 donation can be made via by texting MTWGTD to 70085* or via

Supporters can register their interest via Entries close on Friday 31 July 2020.

*Texts cost £10 plus one standard rate message

Hear from MTW CEO, Miles Scott, as he prepares to take on his very own ‘Go The Distance’ challenge by running a marathon between hospital sites.