Caring for Connor annual walk cancelled due to red tape

Wayne, Georgina, Connor and little brother Kye

The annual Caring for Connor walk has been cancelled following issues over the application process to Thanet council.

The event was due to take place on June 4 with family, friends and fundraisers walking from the Westgate Bay Cafe, going  to the Sunken Gardens.

Why the walk is held

The event raises cash and awareness of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD).

Seven-year-old Connor Olsen, from Westgate, was diagnosed with DMD in March 2013.

DMD is a muscle wasting disease that means Connor will be in a full-time power wheelchair by around 10 years old. The condition, which is caused by a gene defect, means a life expectancy of about 20 years.

His parents Georgina and Wayne created the charity following their son’s diagnosis. The aim is to raise awareness of, and ultimately find a cure for DMD. The goal is to give Connor the best possible chance, through a fighting fund, for the latest treatment.

Red tape

Last year’s walk attracted some 170 people but Connor’s mum Georgina has now found that a charity event booked on the same days means the campaign will not be granted permission for the walk.

The red tape, added to other stresses that Connor’s parents Wayne and Georgina are tackling, has resulted in the cancellation.

In a post on the campaign facebook page Georgina said: “Although I would normally fight this and stand up for what I think is right, at this time I physically and mentally just can’t.

“Sorry to everyone that had plans to come, arranged sponsorship money and company sponsors for the day.

“We hope to see you at the funday on July 16 at Jungle Jims.”

Thanet council statement

“The council would like to state that it has not withheld permission for this event to take place.

“When we became aware of the Caring for Connor Walk our events team contacted the organisers to discuss the event as they had not been in touch. The team co-ordinates a number of events and are able to offer help and advice to event organisers to ensure they have the correct permissions in place and that their event does not coincide with others.

“A street collection permit is required in order to collect money on the street and in consideration to the public, street collection permits are limited to one on any day.  A permit had already been granted to another charity to collect in that area on that day so the organisers of the Caring for Connor Walk were informed of this.

“The council also explained to the organisers that they were perfectly entitled to continue with their event but should not ask for donations from people on the street. They would have been able to organise their own sponsorship arrangements or central collection point.”

Find out more about Caring for Connor on the campaign facebook page.