Jackie Farrell  Support Groups and “The Journey” Coordinator shares the highlights of the summer campaign The Journey

 “A Journey of a Thousand Miles begins with a single step” was the starting point for the tremor awareness campaign “The Journey 2020”.

A virtual route was put together which began in Greenwich and encompassed England, Wales, Ireland & Scotland. Its aim was to be a vehicle to give people confidence to talk about their tremor disorder and at the same time raise awareness and have fun.

NTF Honorary President Lord Julian Fellowes, creator of “Downton Abbey”, who also has essential tremor, launched the campaign on 4 July at an online event. Julian's talk was inspirational and humorous, and encouraged people to talk out about their tremors. He finished by saying: “I send you all such good wishes and, believe me, I know what you are going through.  It is a daily trial but we will come through it, if we can stick together.”

The launch attracted 30 active participants who set off virtually from Greenwich on 11 July. Each pledged to engage in some activity such as a walk around their garden or further afield, a run or cycle ride that would go towards collectively achieving 1,000 miles.

The first stop on route was Highclere Castle, where participants were encouraged to engage in their own virtual version of afternoon tea Downton style. This created much interest including sharing their photos on #ntfthejourney. From that point “The Journey” quickly took off and 1,000 miles was achieved in an amazing two weeks! It was then decided to add a second route which this time explored holiday destinations including the East and South coast of England along to Penzance.

Route 2

We set off from Yorkshire on 8 August and were delighted when Corrie actor Rob Mallard agreed to join us online as the journey passed virtually through Manchester. Rob soon put people at their ease with his genuine warmth and understanding. Over the course of the hour Rob, who also has essential tremor, engaged with the group in discussing the various draw-backs and insecurities that living with essential tremor can bring.  He finished by wishing everyone well as they continued “The Journey.”

Penzance was quickly reached and totalled 2,100 miles by the middle of August. It was then unanimously agreed to see if participants could complete 3,000 miles! 

Route 3

So virtual Route 3 was added to take in the Midlands, ending back at Greenwich to finish on September 2. Mission accomplished at 1pm BST with an incredible total of 3,219 miles!

Participants of all ages took part including two youngsters.  One 11 year old, James who has essential tremor, joined with his family.

Another was Hermione whose mum Lauren wrote this on Hermione’s behalf “My quest to walk 100 miles with my mummy before my second birthday as part of the NTF Journey was great fun! Every day I ate my breakfast then started shouting 'warping warping' while searching for my shoes and bag. We found a lot of new place to explore and lots and lots of muddy puddles to splash in along the way. Sometimes we had special guests who come to join me on a walk like my nanny and grandad, Shak, and my uncle Curtis and great aunty Merane. On my journey I learnt to skip and ride my scooter. ”

Thank you “The Journey” team

Jeff Kilner for producing three wonderful virtual Routes.

Merane Todd and Ryan Williams

Duncan Crossland for keeping the digital side all in place throughout “The Journey”


All participants for making the campaign the success it was and for fundraising donations of almost £3,000. You are an amazing group!

Special thank you To

NTF Honorary President Lord Julian Fellowes and Coronation Street actor Rob Mallard for their support and encouragement.

Jackie Farrell

The Journey Coordinator

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We asked participants to say what The Journey meant to them and include any famous quotes:

Jean Squires

"Virtual – I have relived happy memories of my train holidays and through NTF met folks from all over the British Isles and beyond who I now regard as my friends.

"Actual – I feel that I have made a contribution by raising awareness of ET which I will continue with as I continue to walk my local area."

"To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive." R L Stevenson

"It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end." Ursula K Le Guin

Peter Fry

"'..there ain't no journey what don't change you some.'"

"I have loved doing the journey and got lots of fun out of doing it."

"It was interesting looking back over my old photographs and reviewing where I have visited, to show some of it."

 "Lastly but most importantly my friends now all know what tremor is."

Caroline Fry

"If we facing in the right direction all we have to do is keep on walking."

"Being part of the journey has given me a lot of pleasure and fun. I love hearing about other people's journey, I've improved my technical skills! And most of all spreading the word about ET.  I also appreciate all the beautiful walks around Cornwall!! A huge thank you to Jackie and helpers for making all this possible."

Jilly Cooper

"Finding your organisation, meeting you all, taking part, watching, learning and sharing in the National Tremor Foundation #thejourney has been the highlight of 2020 for me.    (I cannot thank my neurologist enough for pointing me in your direction.) THANK YOU xx"

Jeff Kilner

"What the journey has meant to me…

"I can’t begin to explain what the journey has brought to me, at a point where my essential tremor is progressing much faster than it ever has before I am learning new ways of living with it and working beyond it.  The regular zoom meetings with a group who share and understand have really helped me along the way but much more than this, more than spreading awareness of essential and orthostatic tremors, I feel I now have a group of people throughout the UK who I class as friends and whom I look forward to catching up with on a regular basis.

"Therefore, me and Perry the chicken thank and raise a glass to each and every participant!"

Jackie Farrell

What the journey has meant to me as “The Journey” coordinator

A dream came true to have so many people around British Isles and Ireland engage in raising awareness of neurological tremors.  Plus sharing their experiences and photos while actively collecting miles was truly wonderful to see.

We look forward to “The Journey 2021”