Hartlepool friends making great strides for forces charities
Four friends have put their best foot forward in a coast to coast walking challenge in aid of a host of forces charities.
Ex-Territorial Army members Kevin Robson, 46, and Stephen Shearer, 53, completed the 132-mile walk from Workington in Cumbria to Hartlepool last year.
This year, they are being joined by pals Stephen Mead, 42, who serves with the Royal Logistic Corps at Catterick Garrison, and local businessman Michael Corr.
The friends all know each other through Hartlepool Scooter Club and the Hartlepool Supporters Scooter Club.
But they are leaving their wheels behind and relying on their feet to carry them home to Hartlepool.
The group set off in the early morning gloom on Wednesday and if all goes to plan they aim to stride into Hartlepool on Saturday afternoon.
Stephen Mead said: “We have done a lot of training over the last few months, getting out and about and doing different walks to get the legs going and used to it.
“Hopefully, the blisters will stay away and we will be alright.
“Everyone is pretty confident.”
The guys are raising money for six forces charities. They are Help for Heroes, Save Our Soldier, the Army Benevolent Fund, Combat Stress, Soldiers Off the Street and BELSMA – the British Limbless Ex-Service Men’s Association.
On the group’s Facebook page Stephen Shearer said: “Our sponsored charities support our serving troops and our veterans at all levels, we aim to raise awareness for these charities, and to raise as much as we possibly can with your continued support.
“This is a personal challenge and requires determination to succeed over some very difficult walking conditions, up hills, that make you feel like you are walking up mountains, down steep valleys, over disused rails lines, in all weather conditions, sleeping rough on hard ground, and at the end of 135 miles, the only satisfaction that you have, is that you have accomplished the challenge, and earned that first pint in the Pot House.”
The team are due to be joined by supporters on the final 24-mile stretch on Saturday from Durham to Hartlepool to help them over the line.
Sponsorship and donations can be made via a link on the Facebook page called Hartlepool Coast to Coast 2016.
Or donate on the Virgin Money Giving website by searching for Stephen Mead and Kevin Robson.