Sally has been a “full- time resident for the last two years but I have actually been visiting the Algarve since 1980’s and I bought my first property here in 1989. I have got a long association with the Algarve and I absolutely love it. My business there, is boutique Hotel Quinta Jacinta between Vale de Lobo and Quinta do Lago which I will go back to in the summer after having met the challenge I have set myself.”

Sponsored walk

Sally, sadly lost her brother, Andy, to MND four years ago and she is on this journey due to the loss of her brother. “For many years I have travelled back and forth to the Algarve, mainly thanks to the numerous available flights, although sometimes by car. I have always enjoyed driving through Portugal, Spain and France and it was this that gave me the idea of fund raising by a sponsored walk from the beaches in Portugal to Salisbury, where I was born and my brother lived.”

“The last 18 months of life was awful for both himself and his family. Since then, too many friends and acquaintances have told me about family members or friends that have been affected by MND and the sadness of this particular disease.” Sally is hoping her walk will raise awareness and will fundraise for very much needed research into the disease. For those who may not know, “MND affects the nerves called motor neurones in the brain and spinal cord which gradually stop reaching the muscles and can affect adults of any age, but is most likely to affect people over 50. MND is life-shortening and there is currently no cure.”

“It was not a disease I knew a lot about but I have to say it was pretty devastating when someone is diagnosed with an illness which is essentially terminal and there is no cure.

“When we first heard the news, I actually spent a lot of time researching what work has been done globally and whether there were alternative treatments or cure and the answer was no. I then made a silent promise to him that at some stage I would do what I could to raise awareness of MND and raise funds for research to prevent others having to suffer as my brother did and to hopefully see a cure found for MND. The UK Government has recently promised 50 million pounds to this end so let’s hope all the work that is being done will provide the solution we seek.”

The start of the journey

Initially, in late November 2019, Sally set off on a six month walk of around 2,100 kilometres “in the hopes that in some small way I can contribute to raising much needed funds for research into potential cures for MND. Whilst planning my trip, I was in contact with the MND association in the UK who are an excellent organization but, in the end, have opted for fund raising through the “My Name’s Doddie Foundation”.”

George "Doddie" Weir is a Scottish former rugby union player who made 61 international appearances for the Scotland national team. “Since being diagnosed himself with MND, he set up a Charitable Foundation and has already raised over £1million. I like the idea of supporting a small organization where one can be assured the money raised will go to research projects with the minimum spent on administration.”

After starting the walk in November 2019 and making it to the Spain/France border in March 2020, Covid-19 and the lockdowns forced Sally to retreat back to the Algarve. However, she then “made the decision to start all over again, opting for a different route and walked north along the border of Spain and Portugal on the Portuguese side to just short of Guarda and I have brought my 8 small dogs along with me on this challenge (they don’t actually walk on the walk with me but I walk them in the mornings and evenings).” On the 18th of January she told me she was now north of Valladolid and heading for Burgos and had done an impressive 835kms so far, her average being around 20k a day. Sally is hoping to arrive in Salisbury in April which is where she was born and where her family and brother lived so they are hoping “to have an evening song to finish the walk-in memory of her brother and all who have MND.”

“I know we all have our chosen charities to support but if you wish to donate to the cause or know of anyone that would like to, you can donate at Sally also added “that she has a sponsor form that she can send with all the details once she has completed the walk for anyone who would like to record their sponsorship.” To follow Sally’s progress on her journey you can visit For more information about Sally’s fundraising through Doddie’s Charity please see and


Following undertaking her university degree in English with American Literature in the UK, Cristina da Costa Brookes moved back to Portugal to pursue a career in Journalism, where she has worked at The Portugal News for 3 years. Cristina’s passion lies with Arts & Culture as well as sharing all important community-related news.

Cristina da Costa Brookes