Joe Wicks kicks off his Children In Need walking campaign in Maidenhead

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Joe Wicks has kicked off his BBC Children In Need campaign, which encourages people to take part in their local parkrun event by joining walkers in Maidenhead.

The Walk With Joe initiative, led by the fitness expert known as The Body Coach, hopes to inspire communities across the UK to get out walking the routes with family and friends to boost their physical and mental wellbeing.

The campaign will span across the first two weekends in November and participants will also be asked to donate what they can to the appeal.

After taking part in the first event on Saturday, he tweeted: “What an amazing morning in Maidenhead with @BBCCiN. Thank you so much to everyone that came along.”

Speaking to Kirsten O’Brien for BBC Radio Berkshire, Wicks estimated that around 1,000 people had turned up to the event which he felt was a great achievement.

He said: “I love seeing when people come together through fitness. Seeing young children enjoy exercise and actually want to be here on a Saturday morning – that’s amazing.

“Fitness changed my life. If I didn’t have exercise as a kid I would have been overwhelmed, I would have turned to other things.

“So for me, it really, really changed the direction of my life, I think.”

The fitness coach hopes the campaign will help motivate people to stay active through the difficult cold months.

“What I want to do is bring people together, move their bodies, get them feeling active and kind of inspire them to keep moving throughout the year because these winter months can get quite difficult,” he added.

“So I’m hoping that people leave with a little bit a smile on their face and people if they can and they’re able to donate some money for Children In Need and we can raise a few quid.”

Wicks will also be walking a 30-mile ultra-marathon on November 18 for the Children In Need campaign, starting in MediaCityUK and aiming to finish in 10 hours to reach the BBC Children In Need Great Spotacular Appeal Show.

Along the way, he will be joined by special guests including charity fundraisers and other celebrity friends.

The funds raised will help provide essentials to children and families living in poverty as well as supporting organisations which provide food banks and community kitchens.

Children In Need for The Great Spotacular will air on November 18 from 7pm on BBC One and iPlayer.