Countryside Alliance (CA) fundraiser Andrew Bruce will be embarking on a 1,255 mile walk today (Friday 16 May) to help raise money for Help for Heroes — a charity which helps badly injured servicemen returning from Iraq and Afganistan.
Andrew has been at the CA for eight years, and was a key organiser of the massive Liberty and Livelihood March on 22 September 2002. He was responsible for the task of transporting 400,000 people to London from all over the country for the biggest civil liberties demonstration in British history.
He will be leaving his fundraising role to walk along the Way of St James medieval pilgrimage route — starting from the Cathedrale de St Pierre in Geneva and finishing at Santiago de Compostela in north west Spain about three months later.
Andrew told H&H: “I will be walking about 18 to 22 miles a day — it’s going to be tough, it’s hot and mountainous on the route. I will be sleeping in a one-man tent, which only weighs 860g as I have to carry everything with me.
“It’s very daunting. And my training has been non-existent — I’ve just been so busy fundraising I haven’t had any time. A couple of weekends ago I walked about nine miles in the Black Mountains in Wales and was absolutely dead! But I am determined to succeed.”
He is aiming to raise money for a new £5mill hydrotherapy pool and gym at Headley Court Rehabilitation Centre in Surrey. And he has already raised £32,000.
“There are a terrible amount of young soldiers who are wounded and not looked after as well as they should be — so Help for Heroes gives them additional support,” he said.
“I’m staggered — I thought I’d be lucky to raise £20,000 but I’m already at £32,000 and I’ve only been fundraising a few days.”
A list of 50 patrons will be supporting his challenge including Field Marshall The Lord Bramall, Sandy Gall, Sir Ranulph Fiennes and James Blunt.
Andrew’s progress can be followed on his blog on the Help for Heroes website www.helpforheroes.org.uk
To sponsor Andrew visit: www.justgivingcom/theonethousandmilewalkforhelpforheroes