Kikko is Shop Manager at our Upminster store in East London and has been working with us for over 6 years. A keen walker and runner, he's taking part in his first December Daily Dash to help raise vital funds for our expert care.
Ready for the challenge
Kikko and his family have recently committed to doing more exercise, and generally leading a healthier lifestyle. He and his eldest son previously ran a 10k in Regents Park to raise much-needed funds for Sue Ryder, and his partner is also a keen marathon runner.
“We have more than 100 medals in the house!” he says, but this is the first time he has taken part in the December Daily Dash for Sue Ryder. Asked if he is nervous about the challenge, Kikko seems relaxed, “I have three dogs, so I’m always out walking them anyway!” His three Labradors, Sadie, Carla and Harry, are as committed to fitness as the rest of the family, and join the family park run every Saturday, as well as going for their daily walks with Kikko.
He's not worried about getting chilly while out on those cold December days either, as his family's annual New Year’s resolution is to take part in the Polar Bear Dive in Seattle, which involves running 5K, followed by jumping into a freezing cold lake!
And Kikko loves to see the changing of the seasons as he is out on autumn and winter walks at this time of year. “Everywhere you look you see something different,” he says.
“I like what Sue Ryder stands for, and I love working for them”
Asked about his reasons for deciding to do the December Daily Dash this year, Kikko explains: “I’ve never had any direct involvement with Sue Ryder’s hospices, but I always find it very important to give some of my time to raise funds. I like what Sue Ryder stands for, and I love working for them.
“We are living through some very difficult times. It’s easy to just sit down and think things will get better. But if we could all walk an extra mile, to make someone else’s life better, then that would make my day. But I suppose for the December Daily Dash, we need to go the extra three miles instead!”
Anyone can do it
So what words of encouragement would Kikko give to people who might think the December Daily Dash isn’t for them?
“Sometimes, I’ve been talking to people, and they say, 'I don’t have the time', or 'I couldn’t do it every day'. But I say, if you do one day, then you can do it every day! Sometimes you walk 5k without even realising. When you get into a routine, it just becomes something you do without thinking. Come rain or shine, I’ll be out there walking or running.”
History of the December Daily Dash
The December Daily Dash was founded in 2015 by Jackie and Mark Smith after Jackie's dad died of cancer, just 18 months after losing her Mum to the same illness.
Inspired by the care he received from Sue Ryder, they decided to set themselves a challenge to run 5k every day in December.
Initially joined by 11 friends (and Chester the dog!), the December Daily Dash grew in popularity over the following years to raise more than £430,000 for Sue Ryder's palliative, neurological and bereavement support. Since that first year, over 2,000 people have taken up the challenge alongside them.
Take part in the December Daily Dash
If Kikko has inspired you to take on the Dash this year and help us be there when it matters, it's not too late to sign up! Find out more on the December Daily Dash website.