A Wymeswold man inspired by a visit to Rainbows Hospice for Children and Young People is to walk 630 miles to raise money for the charity.
Leading lawyer Andy Matthews, 56, will take six weeks away from the office at Gateley Plc, where he is a partner and head of the firm’s Nottingham office, to hike around England’s South West Coast Path to complete the epic trek.
His firm had previously nominated Rainbows as its chosen charity in 2015, and it was during a subsequent tour of the Loughborough-based charity that he was incredibly moved by the care provided to children and their families by the hospice.
Andy said: “Visiting the hospice really moved me. The care and support provided is invaluable and I made myself a promise that I would do more for Rainbows when I could. The love, support and care they give to children and their families is so humbling.”
A keen hiker, Andy is set to start his gruelling coastal walk in Minehead, Somerset on June 11, embracing the stunning coastlines of Somerset, Devon, Cornwall and Dorset. He’s always wanted to hike the South West Coast Path but has found the distance and the time involved daunting.
“It’s the equivalent, in terms of total ascent, of walking four times up and down Everest, hiking an average of 15 miles a day over 43 days, so it will be quite tough – but I am spurred on by the youngsters, families and staff I have met at Rainbows.”
Andy is looking forward to the solitary challenge and hopes to raise £12,000. “I find hiking a wonderful balance to the kind of work I do,” he said.
But the fifty-six-year-old is unlikely to be lonely. Family and friends are set to join him at various stages of his route around the south west. They include his wife, BBC East Midlands Today presenter Jo Healey, and daughters Frankie and Anna.
To sponsor Andy visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/andy-matthews7 and to track his progress log on to www.andrewjmatthews.co.uk