A GRANDMA is raising hundreds of pounds for charity by walking 100 laps of her estate – while waiting for a knee replacement operation.

Eileen Leonard, 71, of Darlington, started the four-day trek on Friday to mark what would have been Captain Tom Moore’s 101st birthday.

Captain Tom, who died in February, famously raised almost £33m for NHS charities by walking 100 laps of his Bedfordshire garden.

To commemorate his birthday, Captain Tom’s family has asked people to create their own “100 Challenge” for charity – prompting Eileen to arrange the 100 laps around the block from her home in Ripon Drive.

“I was just in awe of Captain Tom and wanted to do my bit,” said Eileen, who is ‘Nana’ to five grandchildren.

She has already had two new hips plus one new knee. She is now waiting to hear when her other knee can be replaced, so – just like Captain Tom – is using a walking frame during her challenge.

Eileen has chosen to raise money for St Teresa’s Hospice because she and her husband, Keith, both volunteer there.

Her mother-in-law, Vera Leonard, was a volunteer receptionist at St Teresa’s, and was cared for at the hospice when she died of cancer. At the time, Eileen raised £5,000 through a variety of events to have a room at the hospice named after Vera.

Over the years, Eileen has completed the Great North Run 15 times, the last one being in 2005.

Since Friday, she has been aiming to tackle 25 laps a day until Monday, covering the equivalent of 30 miles – more than twice the distance of the Great North Run. Up to Sunday night, she had raised around £386.

  • To make a donation in recognition of Eileen’s efforts, CLICK HERE

“I just thought if Captain Tom could do it at 100, I could do it too, and the response from local people in making donations has been fantastic,” said Eileen, who worked for Morrisons for 19 years.

Eileen’s daughter Tracie Jacobs, who lives in Hurworth, has also joined in the “100 Challenge”by making 100 ginger loaves.

The Northern Echo:

She has raised nearly £500 for Prostate Cancer UK because her dad was recently diagnosed with the illness. All the ingredients for her loaves were donated by friends, Hurworth Spar, Hurworth Fisheries, Wensleydale Dairies, Emma Walton, and Morrisons.