Businessman’s 1000-mile hike for Orpington sensory appeal

Thursday, 18 February, 2021
Hugh O'Neill is walking 1,000 miles to raise funds for a sensory room
Diana takes to the treadmill to support Hugh's fundraising challenge

Hugh O’Neill is walking the equivalent of Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise funds for Cabrini House to create a new sensory room. As a thank you for his support, some of the residents have joined the walking challenge - already clocking up an impressive 100 miles.

Hugh, 57, who runs corporate product branding company Recognition Express, began his challenge to walk 1,000 miles in January and will need to walk 20 miles a week if he is to complete the walk by the end of the year.

Hugh said, “I heard about the Diagrama Foundation through a networking group I belong to. The charity told us about Cabrini House wanting to create a sensory room to enrich the lives of their residents with learning disabilities and I decided I wanted to help. I initially set myself a fundraising target of £1,000, but only a few weeks in I have already reached that, so I would love to raise £2,500 in total.”

Marina Rubio, residential manager at Cabrini House, said: “A sensory room will help make the lives of our residents much easier, by giving them a space they can use, if life overwhelms or frustrates them. Our residents wanted to support Hugh and thank him for all he is doing, by clocking up an amazing 100 miles on the treadmill.”

Hugh continued: “I chose to walk so that as well as doing some good I could improve my fitness before I hit retirement! I’ve already lost quite a few pounds and am looking forward to reaching both fundraising and weight loss targets.”

The money raised will go towards funding special lighting, tactile, sensory apparatus, sound system and decoration of the room.

To support Hugh’s sensory room appeal, visit