Belper man to stride 1,100 miles for charity

a COURAGEOUS 20-year-old from Belper is to walk more than 1,100 miles in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

Josh Jones, and his friend Niall Watts, 25, will set off from Land’s End, Cornwall, at midday on Tuesday, June 21.

No more than 85 days later, the pair hope to arrive in John O’Groats having raised at least £1,000.

Josh, a former Belper School pupil who lives on Long Row, said the idea came to them when they were “steaming drunk” in a bar in Perth, Australia, last year.

The duo met while both on a gap year ‘down under’.

Josh said: “After the encouragement of a few too many beers by the Aussie ocean, we decided to set ourselves the target of truly exploring Britain.

“I have always enjoyed the freedom of the road and the excitement of travelling. However, when Niall and I were sipping on our beers in Perth, we began to question why no young adventure junkies such as us ever wish to travel England.

“After all, it truly does have some stunning scenery and an untouchable history.”

The lads will be unsupported on the trek and each will be carrying about 18kg of camping equipment, clothes and food.

Josh said: “The challenge will be far from easy, and I’m sure there will be times when we will regret ever creating such an elaborate and drunken scheme.

“After dodging past tourists in Cornwall, we will clamber along the Pennine spine of England, and march through the West Highland winds of Scotland to reach our goal.”

Josh works part-time as a barman in the Green House pub, on King Street, Belper, and he hopes to gain a lot of donations from customers.

But also, Josh and Niall, who hails from Rishton, Lancashire, have set up a page at www.justgiving.com/bigbritishwalk where donations can be made.

“We will be raising money for Macmillan, which is an exceptional charity that works very hard to help support the families of people affected by cancer.

“This is a charity which provides medical, emotional and financial support to help the lives of people affected by cancer.”

Ninety-per-cent of the money Josh and Niall raise will be going to the charity.

The other ten-per-cent will go towards supporting the intrepid duo on their journey and, said Josh, will pay for necessities such as food, the occasional warm bed, and the even more occasional hot shower.

The lads will also pass through their respective home towns on the trip and will be in Belper for Josh’s 21st birthday, which is on July 15.

Charity boxes will also be placed in pubs around town and at the Fit Pit gym for anyone who wishes to donate that way.