My Ministry: The 99-year-old walking for ADRA

Enid completed the 14km walk in just under 3 hours and 30 minutes, and was joined by 13 family members who also walked on the day.

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99-year-old Enid Webster ready to compete in this year's City2Surf.

At 99 years of age, Enid Webster just completed her sixth City2Surf to raise money for ADRA.

“Regular walking sure pays off!” she said, as she went out walking again the next day, feeling no ill-effects.

Enid completed the 14km walk in just under 3 hours and 30 minutes, and was joined by 13 family members who also walked on the day. Some family walked with her and others walked in the Northern Territory, Queensland and Hong Kong.

“She started when she was 93,” says Ruth Webster, Enid’s daughter-in-law. “She’s done it every year since except for one year she was too unwell to do it.”

“[People] are always very surprised,” she adds. “Particularly those that know she had a valve replacement in her heart early in 2019.”

Enid at the finish-line of a previous City2Surf event.

At the end of last year, Enid was ready to retire her fundraising efforts as the five-hour return trip to Sydney from her retirement village in Cooranbong was becoming too taxing. But when COVID transformed the City2Surf into a virtual event, Enid couldn’t resist doing her annual fundraising event by walking in her own neighbourhood.

Ruth attributes Enid’s avid walking to CHIP (the Complete Health Improvement Program), which she completed when it first started in Australia.

“At that point she wasn’t an avid walker. She was a little bit overweight . . . but she changed her diet and started walking regularly. At the moment she is doing 10,000 steps a day and she keeps track of that,” she says.

Enid lives independently in her retirement village and enjoys knitting and crocheting, gardening, cooking and keeping her house in order. She keeps fit through a healthy morning routine, and her family often meet her on her 7:00am walk.

“So she’s up early and out walking,” Ruth says, adding that not even a rainy day deters Enid’s efforts. “She puts a raincoat on and goes! There was one morning I said ‘Did you walk this morning?’ because it was raining. And she said, ‘Yes, and I didn’t see you!’”

Enid alongside family members who supported her.

The funds that Enid raises will go towards the ADRA Appeal, the largest source of funding for ADRA programs in Australia. And walking isn’t the only thing that Enid does to help others in need.

“With her knitting and crocheting she makes blankets and other similar items that she donates to charity,” says Ruth.

In partnership with Seventh-day Adventist Churches, ADRA Australia’s volunteer-run programs feed, clothe, house, connect and empower people to overcome hardships and crisis and get back on their feet.

To support Enid’s fundraising efforts donate at https://adraappeal2020.gofundraise.com.au/page/Enid-33749543. To learn more about ADRA Australia, visit https://adra.org.au.