Making a Molehill out of a Mountain: The Steptember Challenge


10/19/2023 | Oliver Norbury

At Texere Publishing, we take immense pride in placing people at the heart of our endeavors – both within our organization and in our interactions within the community. The significance of mental well-being holds a central position in our values – underpinned by our steadfast belief that a work environment that allows people to thrive breeds not only contentment but also productivity. Texere’s ongoing commitment to well-being is evidenced by regular health workshops and exceptional complimentary sessions facilitated by external experts. Encompassing a range of indulgences from massages to facials to invigorating yoga, these experiences contribute to the holistic wellness of our team. (And I think I speak for the entire team when I say we are extremely thankful for it.)


Wellness, however, must go beyond what is simply offered to us via perks or free sessions; fulfillment can also be found by generating wellness ourselves through other means, including physical activity and fundraising. And so, in collaboration with Francis House Children’s Hospice, we enthusiastically embraced the Steptember Challenge – fundraising for a truly remarkable cause (details below), while celebrating how any physical activity – even walking – can enhance well-being. Specifically, we each pledged to walk an average of 10,000 steps per day (about 5 miles, depending on your stride length) throughout the month of September.


Personally, I discovered immense gratification in embracing the challenge. In fact, it ignited a newfound passion within me, transforming my routine dog walks into delightful evening hikes and tempting me into walking to the shops instead of driving. I found that my lifestyle shift not only boosted my level of activity but also lightened the load on my wallet (cutting down fuel expenses) and reduced my environmental impact. It felt like I was (almost) effortlessly conquering several obstacles in a single bound.


I am sure we each relied on our own individual motivating factors at times, but we were all united in stepping forward for a wonderful cause. How could we not complete our day’s steps?

Steps to support Francis House Children’s Hospice

The team at Francis House Children’s Hospice in Didsbury, Manchester, works round the clock to care for the most vulnerable and disadvantaged children with life-changing or life-shortening conditions. They also offer support into adulthood and prepare those in their care for the next step in their lives. Finally, they offer short-term rest for families, meaning guardians can go to work with the peace of mind that their young ones are receiving the best care possible.


Like any charity, Francis House relies on generous donations and, with the cost of living crisis, every little counts. Did you know it costs the hospice around £4.7 million per year to fund the remarkable work of the Francis House team? 


You can see more about their mission here.

Getting competitive

“Francis House Children’s Hospice provides appropriate respite and end of life care for children and young people with life limiting illness as well as the necessary support and short term care for their families,” says Texere’s Steptember organizer, Emily Scragg. “Our fundraising efforts began in December 2022, when we provided some gifts for Christmas. We then went on to support the charity at Easter with the ‘little chick appeal.’ The fundraising team at the hospice do an incredible job, and no matter how large or small the donation, they are always appreciative of everyone’s efforts.


“When we heard about the STEPtember challenge, which involves walking 10,000 steps a day for the whole month of September, we needed to find out more and get involved.  Following a talk by Kate Puc from Francis House we had 26 people sign up to complete the challenge,” says Emily.

Emily Scragg: Steptember Organiser

To track everyone’s activity, Emily created a spreadsheet that not only monitored everyone’s steps but also included a league table, which created some healthy competition between the team. “Each morning, I would log my steps, which prompted everyone to follow suit,” says Emily. “The team achieved in excess of 9.5 million steps and raised over £1,000 (and counting), which is an exceptional effort. Everyone who took part made time in their day to complete their steps and get fresh air whilst exercising at the same time. Steptember has been a wonderful way to contribute to the team’s wellbeing and help a very deserving charity.”


Even though September is over – and we find ourselves trudging into the colder months of autumn and winter – it isn’t too late to donate to Francis House and their ongoing mission to support children in need. Click here to find out more.

Texere’s Steptember Stats

26 – Texere steppers

>9.5 million – Total number of steps

525,300 – Number of steps racked up by Texere’s number one walker: Charlotte Brittain

>£1000… and counting (donate here!) – Money raised for Francis House Children’s Hospice

Oliver Norbury

Digital Producer at Texere Publishing