Megan’s 500 Mile(stone) Strut Updates

Welcome to our Fundraising Page

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Megan is walking over 1 million steps to secure our place in the BigGive Christmas Campaign which brings in match funding and pledges, thereby increasing the amount we can raise (and expanding how many people we can support)!

We will post regular updates in our newsletters, on this page and in the BigGive site itself.  Please join our mailing list, if you haven’t already.  We haven’t had a moment, so we’re officially launching it today.  Megan began strutting on the day the Chartered Institue of Housing Awards Event.  She will provide updates about each milestone ongoing.

Milestone 1: The ‘Lifetime Achievement’ Nomination

27 June, Manchester

Megan Karnes, our Founder and Chair, talks about her CIH Lifetime Achievement Award Nomination


27 June Miles

27 June Steps

28 June Miles

28 June Steps

Cumulative Total:  19,857 steps (to go = 1,036,143)/8.42 miles (to go = 491.58)

Milestone 2: The Hyphen-Zero Birthday (Year)

29 June, London

Megan’s Statement

In the year before the actual day, my grandfather stated that he was in his ’81st year’.  He counted the days up to the turn because… you’ve lived a year by the time you’re one.  Always made sense to me 😊

As such, I’m beginning my 60th year celebrations on 29th June 2022 (really 2023, but you get my drift).

In 2008, I began the journey of fighting for human rights for people who hoard.  Despite being the second highest prevalence of mental disorder, it is still being treated as if removing the symptom of the trauma and distress is the ‘solution’.

I’m asking that this year as a celebration of a hyphen-zero birthday (to come) and this honour in nomination (can’t get ‘lifetime’ anything at 20!) – that you give.  That you care about this extraordinary group of people whose distress you see… but continues to be ignored.

For my birthday, I chose to honour my mother, by going to see the Van Gogh Immersive near Spitalfields.  Starry Night was one of her favourite paintings.  Perhaps her own struggle with rapid-cycle bi-polar disorder made his work more resonant.

It was hugely enjoyable, perhaps even more than I’d imagined!  For me, I found new works and was particularly drawn to Four Cut Sunflowers.  I had never seen it before, and to this day it has stayed with me.

29 June Miles

29 June Steps

30 June Miles

30 June Steps

Cumulative total:  33,804 steps (to go = 1,022,196)/14.31 miles (to go = 485.69)

Milestone 3: 50 Years of London Pride

1 July, London

Megan and her partner of 25 years  marched proudly at the celebration of 50 years of the London Pride Parade, alongside East London Out Project (ELOP), where Megan has delivered clinical supervision for over 10 years (another milestone of sorts!). 

Over one million people attended to celebrate!

1 July Miles

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2 July Steps

Cumulative total:  57,373 steps (to go = 998,627)/24.35 miles (to go = 475.65)

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3 July Steps

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4 July Steps

Cumulative total:  74,202 steps (to go = 981,798)/31.98 miles (to go = 468.52)

Milestone 4: Dr Who?

4 July, London

Megan’s Statement

As many of you know, I am wishing to undertake hoarding specific research.

I’ve been accepted into a Doctoral Programme at Middlesex University.  I am (struggling) moving ahead with various tasks, one of which was to submit a draft of my abstract (short version of research question, methodology, etc.) for a conference.  I (largely) do what I am told.  I did this.  It got ‘selected‘ which meant I had to design a poster and present it at that conference.

If you could have seen the other posters, (not literally but close), diagrams of the history of time and how the researcher was seeking the answer to some gripping question.  I joked with my tutors, quoting a dearly cherished friend, that I didn’t exactly ‘blend‘.  Absurdly, my poster ‘won‘ (I genuinely did not know it was a competition).

I am connecting this to 4th July because the next day we went on holiday and I had £75 prize money voucher in my Amazon account! I use and donate regularly to hoardinguk as my chosen charity… so percentage of the monies will go back in to support our work.  It was agreed that as I do not take a salary (and have not ever), that I should accept this personally.  I decided to replace my tattered old rucksack. See images of my poster and new rucksack.

5 July Miles

5 July Steps

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6 July Steps

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7 July Steps

Cumulative total:  124,548 steps (to go = 931,452)/52.81 miles (to go = 447.19)

Milestone 5: Holiday Park

8 July, Camber Sands

Megan’s Statement

I’ve lived in the UK for 23 years.  While I feel at home, my story is different to those born and raised here.  Each year (other than Covid, of course) we travel within the UK.  I try, as well, to experience things that are uniquely British.

This year, I had to work on my actual birthday, so we took off a few days the following week and visited ParkDean Camber Sands.

Crazy golf (lost 2:1)
Swimming pool
Played Bingo
Took long walks on the beach

I’m not allowed to buy mugs anymore, because I have too many – but was allowed a magnet!  I also brought back a single shell to add to our small collection.

I had no idea what the long rectangular shell was – but know now it must be a razor clam shell.

8 July Miles

8 July Steps

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10 July Steps

Cumulative total:  150,265 steps (to go = 905,735)/63.70 miles (to go = 436.30)

Milestone 6: Masterclass & Support Group

11 July, London/Gloucester

Last week we delivered our Choice & Control in Hoarding Disorder for the Chartered Institute of Housing Masterclass.


CIH Training

And the first session of the Gloucester Support Group.  This will be meeting the first Thursday of every month beginning in September.

We have had meetings at two different locations, so this will need to be confirmed.

If you are a professional working with people who hoard or a person who hoards who would like to participate in the six month training/support group development programme, please contact us.

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Cumulative total:  174,702 steps (to go = 855,851)/84.94 miles (to go = 415.06)

Milestone 7: CEO & Blackburn Support Group

18 July, London/Blackburn with Darwen

The HUK Team had its first meeting attended by our new upcoming CEO, David Pearce. 

Megan also delivered Choice & Control Open Day training, which included the first day of training for inducting our new volunteers. 

Please click here to become a volunteer and support our work. 

Plus birthday celebrations contine!


SisterAct Poster
SisterAct Poster

Megan delivered the penultimate Support Group Development programme in Blackburn with Darwen.

Travel to Blackburn for the SGD project

Megan statement:

The day after temperatures resulted in melting streets, I arrived at Euston Station early – knowing that travel would be chaotic at best.  Train after train cancelled until I was, finally, able to get on an 11am service. 

Arriving in Blackburn, it was refreshing to feel the cool air and seeing the welcoming face of Edward Brown  This piece of work has been such a positive experience.  Improving practice and support for people who hoard.”


Virtual training delivered for UK supported accommodation provider. 

Trustee Sharon Degen attends Laura Horton’s play, Breathless, in Plymouth.  Laura’s work is covered both in VogueUK  and by the BBC.

18 July Miles

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24 July Steps

Cumulative total:  226,136 steps (to go = 801,995)/119.99 miles (to go = 380.01)

Milestone 8:  Support Groups & Holiday

25 July, London/Ireland

This week, Megan hosted Chairing Positive Change, the free fortnightly case support session for professionals supporting people who hoard.

Hosted LGBTQAI+ Support Group, the monthly hoarding support group for people who hoard.

Delivered clinical supervision for our In-Home Support team.

Delivered penultimate Thurrock Support Group development session.

And attended a complex multi-disciplinary conference about a hoarding case in the North of England, amongst other serious case management issues across the UK – which happen daily with someone from the HUK team engaging.

And after a busy week, Megan will be on annual leave until 15 August.  We will update you upon her return.   


Postcard from Ireland

25 July Miles

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29 July Steps

Cumulative total:  251,467 steps (to go = 776,664)/130.70 miles (to go = 369.30)

Milestone 9:  Midmost!

30 July, Ireland

Megan’s Statement:

“After working flat out the weekend before travel, I had to give up on getting everything that needed to be done for the charity done, and just go away, the first long break in years!

Stansted to Knock with no problems, actually everything was smoother than ever before, in terms of flying the low-cost Irish airline that hasn’t always seen its customers as worthy of service!

Check-in, crew, flight…all perfect.  Our little town on the Leitrim/Cavan border provided the perfect respite.  No internet.  No television.  Just beauty.

Some pictorial highlights from the trip.”

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Cumulative total:  503,378 steps (to go = 552,622)/291.29 miles (to go = 208.71)

Milestone 10: Gloucester Support Group

27 August, Gloucester/London

Our new Gloucester Support Group starts on 1st September:

Tuffley Lane
Gloucester; GL4 0AS
Tel: 01452 834150

Every first Thursday of the month until 5/1/2023.

Click here for further info how to join.


27 Aug Miles

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1 Sept Miles

1 Sept Steps

Cumulative total:  571,046 steps (to go = 484,954)/319.55 miles (to go = 180.45)

Milestone 11: HUK 15th Anniversary

5 September, London

This week, we celebrate HoardingUK’s 15th Anniversary.  Back in 2008, it all started when Megan, whilst running another national mental health charity, realised that people with hoarding disorder were not being treated the same as people with other mental health disorders.

Here was our first logo!

2 Sept Miles

2 Sept Steps

3 Sept Miles

3 Sept Steps

4 Sept Miles

4 Sept Steps

Cumulative total:  605,193 steps (to go = 450,807)/340.89 miles (to go = 159.11)

Milestone 12: Thurrock Support Group

6 September, London

Thank you Anit for your beautiful poem and David for your joke!

“I went out for a walk and found a circular stone with TOIT on it.

Now, I’ve always had the problem that I don’t do things straight away. I always put off doing them, saying things like “I’ll do it later” or “I’ll do it tomorrow” or “I’ll do it when I get around to it”.

But I can’t do that any more because I’ve got one… I’ve got A ROUND TOIT.”

6 Sept Miles

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10 Sept Steps

Cumulative total:  640,324 steps (to go = 415,676)/355.79 miles (to go = 144.21)

Milestone 13: Blackburn Support Group

11 September, London

I want a tidy life, but I can’t do it on my own.”


Edward Brown has a hoarding disorder and has caused him overwhelming psychological distress.  He says he gets a buss out of supporting other hoarders.

The Blackburn Support Group, a pilot scheme, has been put together by Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council, in partnership with HUK.

The council’s neighbourhood manager, Michelle Rutherford says hoarding is “a big issue in the borough, but a lot of it is hidden. There are lots of different reasons why people hoard. Simply clearing a house does not deal with the issue and can be very traumatic for those affected.”


Read the article on BBC News

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Cumulative total:  735,821 steps (to go = 320,179)/423.97 miles (to go = 75.03)

Milestone 14: Autumn Equinox

23 September, London

The Autumn Equinox describes the beginning of the astronomical autumn and this year it fell on 23 September.

It occurs at the exact moment when the sun crosses the celestial equator – the same as the Earth’s equiator but in the sky.

Equinox means equal night in Latin.  Two points in the year, the sun will illuminate the northern and southern hemispheres equally.

The Harvest Moon happens at this time, and it gives light to farmers to work late into the night.  It also marks the time to give thanks for the harvest season, and share the fruits of one’s labours for the upcoming winter months.  Autumn ends on 30 October, when the clocks fall back.

Milestone 14 Moon

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7 Oct Steps

Cumulative total:  857,498 steps (to go = 198,502)/475.53 miles (to go = 24.47)

Milestone 15: Menopause the Musical

8 October, London

Our friend who stars in the longest running show in Las Vegas history, bumped up the steps (and the fun!)

Audiences are entertained, enlightened and empowered as Menopause The Musical paints a vivid, hysterical portrait of what women endure during this “milestone” of life while leaving no topic untouched.

Menopause the Musical

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Cumulative total:  992,396 steps (to go = 63,604)/532.50 miles (to go = 0)

Milestone 16: Final Steps & Hallowe’en

17 October, London

Milestone 16 Defunct Step Counter

Megan says:

I’m proud of having completed the Strut despite the FitBit conking out just at the end.  We see this start to happen around 24th September when it only clocked nine stepsThank you all for your support of this milestone celebration.  I will be off next week celebrating the 25 years anniversary!  The final ‘milestone’ of this fundraiser.”


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Cumulative total:  1,173,131 steps/555.46 miles

HUK Strapline