Disabled Cranham pensioner takes on Tube station challenge for charity

PUBLISHED: 07:00 09 March 2017

Diane Sowpen will travel the district line from Upminster to Richmond and back.

Diane Sowpen will travel the district line from Upminster to Richmond and back.


A pensioner with cerebral palsy will be visiting every disabled-friendly station along an Underground line to raise awareness and money for charity.

Diane Sowpen, 70, of Cranham, has set herself the challenge for Disabled Access Day, today (Friday), to travel to all the stations with disabled access on the District line, from Upminster to Richmond and back.

She said: “I don’t think anyone has done this before and thought it would be a good idea to see which stations are more easily accessible.

“I thought it would be fun for me to do as well.”

Diane is a regular member of the Havering Association for People with Disabilities (Had), Woodhall Crescent, Hornchurch, which provides information and support to individuals and groups on all aspects of disability and caring.

She says she was very keen to give something back to the charity for all the help it has given her.

She said: “I use a frame for support and to help me walk every day.

“I love visiting London and getting the train but I do find it hard sometimes to access stations, so felt it was important to raise awareness.

“Had has helped me and I want to be able to do something for them since they do a lot for me.”

Diane has not set herself a fundraising target but hopes for as many people to get behind her as possible.

“I want to bring disabled access to everyone’s attention while raising money for Had – it’s a wonderful charity. If you see me on the day, please see hello. It would be wonderful if you could sponsor me in my challenge.”

Clare Kelly, befriending and carers support co-ordinator at the charity, said: “Diane was keen to fundraise for Had and her idea of travelling along the District line also highlights Disabled Access Day.”

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