Man walks miles for charity

Graham Sutton with his friend Joan
Graham Sutton with his friend Joan

A RETIRED businessman has walked 156 miles to raise £3,000 for causes in the district.

Graham Sutton, 62, of Kirdford, pledged to raise money from walks for three different charities this year.

These include The Brent Lodge Wildlife Hospital, in Sidlesham, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, and the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

He said: “Now I’m retired I want to give time to help others through difficult times, and the pleasure these donations can bring to people can turn what is a negative for them into a positive.”

His first walk of the three, for Brent Lodge, was a 31-mile hike through the Goodwood and Cowdray Estates and along the South Downs.

He completed the walk on July 8, in nine hours and four minutes, a time which Graham said he was ‘pleased with, especially given the conditions’.

He has raised £550 for Brent Lodge so far, but hopes more people will donate to the charity on his online page www.bmycharity.com/grahamsnuts

A 43-mile walk in August was dedicated to Graham’s friend Joan, who suffers from motor neurone disease, and raised money for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

Starting in the middle of the night on August 19, Graham joined the Hike4Hospices group who walked from Lewes to Goodwood Racecourse, mostly on the South Downs.

Graham said: “It was a very emotional day, and a really personal cause for us as we have a friend suffering with motor neurone disease.

“We managed to raise over £1,800 for the charity so that’s great.”

The disease attacks the motor neurones, or nerves, in the brain and spinal cord.

This means messages gradually stop reaching muscles, which leads to weakness and wasting.

Although there is no cure the association helps sufferers to manage their condition in a way that will give them the best possible quality of life.

The final walk – an 82-mile hike for the RNLI – was completed at the end of last month.

Graham walked the North Cornwall coast from Padstow to Land’s End, completing a total of a marathon each day for three consecutive days.

“This walk for the RNLI lifeboats was to keep the boats, and all the brave, selfless and largely volunteer crews, out there saving lives and rescuing people around our coastline,” 
said Graham.

Raising £450 for the RNLI, Graham was pleased he managed to keep up the momentum for the final charity in his challenge.

So far, Graham has raised £2,800 for his charities in total but hopes for more donations to push the total to £3,000 or more.

A keen walker, Graham has climbed Kilimanjaro, and hiked the 192-mile Coast to Coast walk and 95 miles on the West Highland Way.

To make a donation to the RNLI or the Motor Neurone Disease Association visit Graham’s fundraising page on www.uk.virginmoneygiving.com/grahamsnuts