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Richard Miller

Hiking over 100km for Ukrainian refugees

Richard is ready for a 'hike of a lifetime' to help Ukrainian refugees

Endurance hiker Richard Miller is packing his blister plasters, ready to embark on the 106km Isle of White Challenge to raise money for World Vision UK’s Ukrainian appeal.

Richard, World Vision's Payroll and Benefits Manager, will be taking a break from punching numbers to join 2,000 other intrepid hikers to walk the coastal path of the Isle of Wight.

The challenge, which takes place from 30 April to 1 May, is, “The chance to do something amazing while helping others,” says Richard. “I’ve spent two years training for this and walked 2,400 miles.

This is the third endurance challenge he’s completed to raise funds for World Vision – previously Richard has completed two challenges for our work as the world’s biggest non-governmental supplier of water. Working with communities in poorer countries to provide sustainable solutions to water scarcity is one of World Vision’s many areas of expertise.

Richard Miller

I want to do my part for the refugees

Water is my passion and I thought I’d do this walk for water too, but with everything that’s happening in Ukraine, I decided to do it for World Vision's appeal for Ukrainian refugees. I want to do my part for the refugees – that’s what’s been put on my heart,” says Richard.

So far, the UN estimates at least five million refugees have fled the warfare in Ukraine and that figure is set to rise. World Vision has launched an appeal to help with the effort to support those refugees in Eastern Europe.

Richard says: “This is my third endurance walk for World Vision and I keep saying it’s going to be my last. I’ve been doing this for the last seven years and that’s why I’ve chosen to go out with the hardest challenge yet.”

Richard’s last challenge was walking from London to Brighton in 2018 – a walk that took him 29 hours due to a painful injury. Like any endurance athlete, he kept going despite the pain and faced three months of physiotherapy to recover afterwards.

Ukraine refugees on Romania's border
Ukraine refugees on Romania's border

Make a difference

This year I’m better prepared with proper insoles and knee protectors. I’m like a coiled spring, I can’t wait to start hiking. I’m feeling confident and determined. When it comes to World Vision’s work, it’s incredible to think I’m doing something to help by doing something incredible. My day job in payroll is completely behind the scenes. There are some amazing people within World Vision and some incredible projects. I like to think this is my way of doing to make a difference.”

Exceptional response

Mark Sheard, CEO of World Vision, says: "The enormity of the humanitarian crisis arising from the war in Ukraine has provoked an exceptional response from the British public in general, and our supporters in particular. We are always touched when people take on challenges to raise funds and awareness of our work. When our staff decide to do something extraordinary beyond the remarkable work they do in their day jobs it is always extra special. I wish Richard the very best for this gruelling challenge."

Andrew with Ukraine refugees
Ukraine mother and children with Andrew Morley and Mihaela Nabăr near the Ukraine border

Safe haven

Andrew Morley, the International President and CEO of World Vision International, says: “I recently met children fleeing Ukraine, across the border into Romania. They were afraid and confused. Many of them had tears in their eyes. They need our support right now, as they seek refuge and safety. Our staff have been here for decades, and are able to bring hope immediately – but they need more support. Every donation to our Ukraine appeal helps provide children and families with hygiene kits, protection and psychosocial support –including child-friendly spaces. Thank you to Richard and everyone like him who is going above and beyond to help children whose lives have been devastated by this crisis.