A MILESTONE amount of money has been raised by a Keswick couple for a cause close to their hearts.

Yvonne and Duncan Booth have raised £500,000 for the MS Society since Duncan was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

Pride of Britain finalist Yvonne and her husband have responded by setting a new target of £1 million. Their success is all thanks to their popular 10in10 challenge, which celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.

Each June, the challenge sees people from around the world come together to scale 10 peaks in 10 hours, in the scenic Lake District fells.

It was cancelled in 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic but the Booths showed typical resilience and continued their fundraising however possible.

One of the Covid-safe ways Duncan used to raise funds during Lockdown was a bike recycling initiative.

Over the past year, he has restored over 150 bikes with the scheme, giving them to new owners in exchange for a donation to the MS Society.

Yvonne said: “When Duncan was diagnosed with MS our lives changed forever. I was determined to do something positive to drive forward research, and so the idea of an annual fundraising challenge was born.

“At the start of lockdown we didn’t know if charities would survive. It’s been a hard time but we’ve dedicated our lives to stopping MS, and Coronavirus won’t get in our way.

“Communities have really come together, and it’s amazing how much momentum we’ve managed to keep over the past year. Duncan’s bike recycling initiative started small but has now become a whole community initiative. He is incredible and he just keeps going!”

Clare Horwood, Executive Director of Engagement and Income Generation at the MS Society said: “The impact of Yvonne and Duncan’s fundraising is truly extraordinary, and we are hugely grateful for everything they’ve achieved over the past decade.”

To sign up to the 10in10 Challenge on 19 June 2021, visit: www.10in10.org.uk/

“It’s been particularly inspiring to see their fundraising go from strength to strength over the pandemic – at a time where our income has been severely hit.”

“MS can be relentless, painful and disabling, but there is reason to be hopeful. We believe we can stop MS, and can see a future where nobody needs to worry about their condition getting worse. Thanks to brilliant supporters like Yvonne and Duncan, we are closer to reaching this goal than ever before.”