A woman from Cumnock has successfully completed the 5k challenge and raised over £500 for Cash for Kids after recovering from a life changing car crash.

Paula Gemmell, 24, suffered lasting damage and her mobility was impaired when she was involved in the accident last year. When she was tagged in the 5k challenge on Facebook, she decided to do it as part of her rehabilitation.

Paula said: “I saw the 5k challenge going about and my friend tagged me in it but said she didn’t expect to me to do it.

“But I saw Sir Tom Moore all over the news, how he was walking up and down his garden 100 times and thought, well I’ve not got an excuse!

“It’s unclear whether I’ll ever be back to normal again after the crash. The recovery process is long so the challenge was a win-win for me to raise money, keep up with my exercise and push myself to see what I can do.”

Paula responded to the Cash for Kids Appeal on West FM, which helps Ayrshire families during the COVID-19 crisis. The idea is to walk or run £5k, donate £5 and nominate five friends to take part.

And now she feels the challenge has helped her in her recovery process.

Paula said: “Before the accident I was running 10ks and going to the gym six times a week. It’s been a crazy year but the 5k gave me motivation especially because I was putting links on Facebook and updating people.

“I’ve been able to increase my walks and hope to get more independent after lockdown. It’s been great to have something to focus on.”

Kris Kelly, Cash for Kids Charity Manager for Ayrshire, said: “Paula’s commitment and determination is truly inspiring, going above and beyond to help and support others in her community during these uncertain times, making a massive difference to families in need here in Ayrshire.

“A big thank you to the amazing Paula for taking on her extraordinary challenge and raising a phenomenal amount for the children of Ayrshire.”

You can donate by visiting https://www.cashforkidsgive.co.uk/campaign/west-fm-general-fundraising/fundraisers/paula-gemmell/

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