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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

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Rob strides out for 1,000-mile challenge

A GOSFORTH fundraiser is making great strides in preparation for a 1,000-mile charity walk.

Helping hand: Rob Steele, left, gets his bus thanks to Rod Davies from the Gosforth Hall Inn at Gosforth

Rob Steele is getting ready for the mammoth challenge which starts from his home on March 29 and ends in Santiago de Compostela in Spain.

The fundraiser will mark the 20th anniversary of Rob doing annual long distance walks in aid of cancer research and drug development at the Royal Marsden Hospital, in Sutton, where he was treated years ago.

Since organising the monumental trip, Rob has faced several hurdles.

He contacted The Whitehaven News in November calling on a kind-hearted person to provide a camper van for the British leg of the journey, after initial plans fell through.

Since then, the owners of Gosforth Hall Inn have temporarily loaned him their courtesy bus, to be adapted.

Rob said: “In an ideal world I would have liked to have had a camper van, but this is brilliant. I’m chuffed they have been good enough to let me borrow it. I just need to get the drivers to drive it!”

He said he will temporarily modify the interior by building some bunk beds and construct a small cooking area.

The UK leg of the journey will take Rob five weeks and will include Ribblehead, Stafford, Frampton-on-Severn near Bristol, Taunton, and ending in Plymouth.

Rob says friends have offered to drive the bus for three out of the five weeks.

He is looking for drivers to help on the third and fourth weeks: from Stafford to near Bristol between April 12-19 and from Bristol to Taunton between April 19-26.

He said the routes are not too far from railway stations, so anyone who would like to help will be able to travel by train to meet them.

The support drivers so far are Ken Trainer, Peter Woolley, Geoff Steele and Andrew Davies.

Rob will be supported along parts of the journey by friends Sid Syrett and Stevie Hufton.

He said: “I now have walking companions for all but around two and a half weeks of the walk, so if anyone would like to join me walking, especially for the weeks where, at the moment, I am walking alone then that would be good.”

From Plymouth, Rob will catch a ferry on May 4 to Santander and will follow the Camino del Norte to Santiago de Compostela.

Over the last 19 years, Rob has completed charity walks and organised other fundraising events, but he says he has never counted how much he has raised.

For more information go to www.facebook.com/robsbig walk.

Anyone wishing to donate to cancer research and drug development at The Royal Marsden Hospital, can do so at www.justgiving.com/Rob-Steele1.


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