Jim Thompson, a retired policeman from Sunderland, is walking the length of Britain to raise money for the Multiple Sclerosis Trust.
Mr Thompson, who is nearly 60, is making the 1,300 mile trek from Land’s End to John o’ Groats in order to not only fundraise but also mark his upcoming birthday. In previous years he has taken part in the Great North Run and swam from Islay to the Scottish mainland. Each time has been to raise money for the MS Trust.
Mr Thompson’s stepson, Stephen who is 40, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 12; he now has to use a wheelchair. The Multiple Sclerosis Trust has provided support to the family, while the fundraising efforts of Mr Thompson and his wife Anne have raised £27,000.
He is hoping that his walk will bring in a further £9,000.
Talking about his latest money raising endeavour, the ex-policeman says: “This is something I have always wanted to do. I had planned to do it five years ago, but my mum was ill. So, I thought for my 60th birthday it would be the perfect time to do it.
“I am fine walking alone in the countryside, I don’t mind that [but] I didn’t want to just go by road, so for most of the walk I will be using long distance footpaths.”
The trip is funded out of his own pocket, with the route planned in advance and accommodation pre-booked. It is set to last 105 days.
Speaking on the possible conditions he will face along the way, Mr Thompson says: “I have no illusions that I’m going to have some days of bad weather, but I will just have to carry on.”