Belper mayor prepares for 100-mile Walk for Life

World Transplant Games champion Simon Elmore and Belper's Mayor Gary Spendlove
World Transplant Games champion Simon Elmore and Belper's Mayor Gary Spendlove

Belper’s mayor is putting the final touches to his plan for a 100-mile fundraising walk to promote the importance of the organ donor register.

Gary Spendlove is getting ready to hit the road on a seven-day ‘Epic Walk for Life’ through Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

He will be accompanied by World Transplant Games athlete Simon Elmore, whose first meeting with Gary made them both decide to take on the challenge.

Belper resident Simon recovered from kidney failure thanks to a donor organ, and has gone on to achieve incredible sporting success.

Gary said: “I sincerely feel that there are people out there whose lives will be changed by what we are trying to achieve.

“Simon has been the inspiration for this epic walk and we hope that the effort may save lives in the future.”

The route will encompass many towns and cities, and walkers will be calling at several hospitals to promote donor card awareness.

Supporters are being encouraged to sign up to become donors themselves and to make sponsorship donations in support of four transplant charities - with a target total of £2,500.

A number of groups will walk at least part of the route on Sunday and others will be joining parts of the challenge along the way.

Gary added: “Many thanks to Dave Ashley and the many Rotarians who will be involved over the seven-day period. Everyone is welcome to join us at any point.”

The walkers will begin at the Strutts Centre on Derby Road, Belper, on Sunday January 29, and will return to Belper on Saturday February 4.

To follow their progress and find out where to join them, see www.facebook.com/walkforlife100miles.

There are around 7,000 people on the transplant list in the UK, and around 1,000 die every year waiting for a transplant. One donor can save or transform up to nine lives.

To join the register, go to www.organdonation.nhs.uk.

To sponsor the walk, visit www.justgiving.com/companyteams/TheEpicWalkForLife.