In early March 2024, Dave Hollingsworth – our Alumni & Lived Experience Lead – took on a challenge to raise funds for Gordon Moody. In his own words, here is the tale of his adventure.

Gordon Moody has been a huge part of my life for over 20 years. Raising awareness of the amazing work done in our services and how lives are being saved is of huge importance. By combining my passions of following Charlton Athletic FC up and down the country, walking the roads and fields of the UK, and always conversing with people about the issue of gambling harms and the ongoing need for more treatment provision, I hope to raise funds to ensure Gordon Moody can get more people through one of our treatment programmes.

I decided to walk, with various friends and colleagues joining en route, from Charlton’s away game at Northampton on Saturday 2nd March to the next Charlton away game at Cheltenham on Tuesday 5th March. This walk would be about 65 miles in total.

So I kitted myself out in Charlton and Gordon Moody clothing, and shorts of course, and wended my way south and west hoping to spread the message about the wonderful organisation that is Gordon Moody, by far the greatest team the world has ever seen (that’s Charlton Athletic in case you hadn’t guessed), and extolling the virtues of walking and talking as huge benefits for our overall wellbeing.

Dave Hollingsworth smiling towards the camera whilst on his fundraising walk. He is wearing a Charlton Athletic FC beanie hat and a Gordon Moody flag detailing his challenge.

Day one – Saturday 2nd March 2024: Northampton – Towcester

I made my way to Northampton Town FC for the first of two away matches in the EFL League One. With a rainbow to wish the team well, Charlton came into the game high in confidence on the back of four unbeaten games. But unfortunately, the rainbow only guided the team to a 1-1 draw.

The view from behind one of the goals at the Charlton Athletic FC game away at Northampton Town. Behind one of the stands is a rainbow in a sky of blue.

After the game finished, we set off towards our first overnight stop in Towcester. The walk of about eight miles, took us to our digs for the first night and we settled down to a lovely carb fest to give us plenty of energy for the next three days.

Dave Hollingsworth standing beside a sign reading Towcester Roman Town Lactodorum. Dave is holding a large white flag with the details of his fundraising challenge.Image of Dave Hollingsworth wearing a Gordon Moody branded hoodie holding up two thumbs in an Italian restaurant with a pizza with black olives in front of him and a plate of pasta in front of the camera man.

Total miles walked: 8

Miles to destination: 59

Day two – Sunday 3rd March: Towcester – Banbury

Nice early start and the weather was wonderful. We were joined on the walk for this leg by my colleague, Kevan, some of our fantastic Dudley service users, and my pal, Steven. Steven was chief navigator today and had to direct us around a HS2 diversion that added another two miles to our journey.

HS2 diversion sign that added two miles to the journey for Dave Hollingsworth on his fundraising walk.Dave Hollingsworth poses outside their stop for the night in Banbury along with Gordon Moody service users and colleague Kevan. They have all been taking part in Dave's fundraising challenge.

We spent a pleasant evening in Banbury, before setting an early morning alarm call to get us up and off to Moreton-in-Marsh.

Total miles walked: 28 (including diversion)

Miles to destination: 39

Day three – Monday 4th March: Banbury – Moreton-in-Marsh

After a lovely night in Banbury, we set off nice and early on our trek down to Moreton-in-Marsh. We covered 19 miles on day three and saw some lovely vistas along the way.

The day went well and we walked for just under six hours to reach our destination. With only 20 miles left, the support from everyone was getting us through when the going was tough.

Total miles walked: 47

Miles to destination: 20

Day four – Tuesday 5th March: Moreton-in-Marsh – Cheltenham

20 miles left today to reach the match tonight between Charlton Athletic FC and Cheltenham Town FC. We must make it there in time to see the kick off.

Map showing the walk from Moreton-in-Marsh to Cheltenham Town FC stadium.Dave Hollingsworth standing in front of a road sign that points to Evesham in one direction and Moreton-in-Marsh in the other direction. He is wearing his Gordon Moody fundraising flag detailing his challenge and how to donate.

Whilst walking near Winchcombe, about six miles from our destination, I couldn’t believe it when I saw a local business and had to take my picture with the sign!

Dave Hollingworth standing beside a sign for the Hollingsworth & Vose paper mill in Winchcombe, near Cheltenham. Dave is wearing a Gordon Moody flag with the details of his fundraising challenge.

We made it – what an achievement. Since Saturday night, we walked around 67 miles. Walked up and down hills, lanes, through picturesque settings, been diverted by HS2, and finally made it to the end game – quite literally.

Dave Hollingsworth standing underneath a Welcome to Cheltenham Town FC sign, whilst wearing a flag containing details of his fundraising walk for Gordon Moody.

At the end of our challenge, we now get the treat of watching Charlton play Cheltenham Town, and the team didn’t disappoint. After 18 minutes passing without incident, suddenly, Charlton were ahead 1-0. In the second half, there were lots of chances but with 20 minutes left, Cheltenham Town got an equaliser. Then with five minutes to go, we went ahead again, only to be followed by a third goal right on full time. An amazing result for the team and a wonderful end to my challenge: Cheltenham Town 1 – Charlton Athletic 3.

Total miles walked: 67

Miles to destination: None!

Dave Hollingsworth standing in front of a finger post road sign whilst holding his Gordon Moody fundraising flag showing how to donate to his challenge.

I would like to thank …

Thank you to everyone who has supported me on this challenge. I couldn’t have done it without you.

There is still time to donate and we are so close to the target, could you help me reach the goal? Donations can be given through my dedicated Just Giving page by clicking here. All money raised goes to Gordon Moody to help us support people to reclaim and rebuild their lives free from gambling addiction.

Dave Hollingsworth striding ahead on his fundraising challenge. He is walking towards a picturesque church in a small village.

Fundraising – now it’s your turn!

If Dave’s challenge has inspired you, would you like to take on a fundraising challenge for Gordon Moody? However big or small, all money raised for Gordon Moody helps us to get people the right treatment, at the right time, and in the right place.

To find out how we can help you with a fundraising challenge for Gordon Moody, please email our fundraising team.


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